It’s safe to say that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on all of us. Especially those who have been infected with COVID-19 or have lost a loved one(s) from the virus. While health officials across the country have scrambled together to try to slow down the spread or stop it completely, the latest social-distancing measure has become another challenge for people.
As most of us know, due to social distancing mandates, it has become more difficult for families to say their final goodbyes to their loved ones. While some states only require a gathering of 10, other states have halted all gatherings, making it even harder for people to mourn.
However, Brooklyn Funeral Director Lisa S Dozier has turned to a virtual measure to help ease the pain for affected families. The 24-year vet is offering live stream services that are not only stationary to a funeral home but available at churches as well. While speaking to local news outlets, Dozier explained that more than 150 people can join in remotely through a link as they pay their respects, celebrate and send off their loved one, properly.
Dozier, who owns Funeral Home Inc., 2043 Atlantic Avenue at the crossroads of Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown, explained what’s it’s like having a virtual funeral service, “Live streaming is definitely shorter. Not many people are in the room, a preacher is present to give words of encouragement and it’s a one-hour viewing, during a live streaming funeral. Live streaming is also still engaging than others may assume. During the last viewing, families are allowed to leave comments during the final viewing.”
She went on to share how she has personally adjusted to the latest changes due to COVID-19: “Personally, my staff and I are exposed to individuals who have died due to COVID-19,” Dozier said. “We are at great risk every day, so we have simply been focusing on protecting ourselves daily. However, it has affected my business and the entire funeral industry tremendously because family members can’t properly grieve and are being robbed of the right to grieve. These families can’t mourn the loss and see their loved ones, one last time.”
Live streaming a ceremony for the dead isn’t a new concept. However, Dozier noted that in her statement while explaining, “I work in the heart of the Caribbean community, so I began providing live stream services for families years ago who were unable to travel to the U.S. and attend the funeral. So, the upside to providing a live streaming service alternative is that we were doing this way before this pandemic, which made us feel very equipped during this time of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Overall she says people are “very happy with the alternative (live-streaming).”
As of Thursday morning, the city has 48,462 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,397 deaths, according to The New York Post.