Funeral homes reduce attendance at memorial services due to CDC guidelines

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind., (WTWO/WAWV)– Local funeral homes have been challenged with changing the way they conduct memorial services due to CDC guidelines, limiting social gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Gary Greiner, owner of Greiner Funeral Home, said the circumstances are unprecedented.

“This is certainly the first time I’ve had to deal with anything this catastrophic in my 30 or so in this business,” he said.

In addition to the CDC, Greiner and other funeral directors across the area receive guidance from other organizations like the State Board of Funeral Directors and Cemetery and the Indiana Funeral Directors.

He said the new guidelines have caused families to limit attendance at memorial services.

“We’re still conducting services. The attendance is much less and we are guiding the families to ask for immediate family only in attendance,” Greiner said.

Due to the restrictions, some families have decided to celebrate their loved ones in a different way.

“Some families are opting for a graveside service or a small gathering here at the funeral home or church and then I’ve heard from some families that they’ll have a celebration of life at a later date,” he said.

According to Greiner, the families that are affected by the new restrictions have been accommodating during an already tough time.

“It’s made it more intimate, I guess is a word I would use with a smaller gathering. Obviously they’re distraught losing a loved one and this doesn’t help the situation, but we know that we’ll get through it. It’s just going to take some time.”

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