What happens in inclement weather?
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The image of a letter carrier, trudging through the snow and wind to deliver a birthday card or telephone bill is what comes to mind when most people hear that phrase. Lately, we have been hearing it said about our staff.
During the past few heavy snowfalls, our staff has been called upon to respond to residences, hospitals, and care centers to bring decedents into our care. Severe inclement weather has presented challenges to make that happen in a timely manner, but we have been able to complete the tasks without incident.
A bigger challenge is what happens when a snowstorm or other weather challenge threatens a scheduled viewing or funeral service. Do we cancel? Do we reschedule? Do we proceed as scheduled? While these are tough decisions that need to be made at an already stressful time, understand that we will work with you and provide guidance on how to proceed. Collaboratively, we need to consider, among other things, the following:
• When is the weather event expected, and how likely is it to occur?
• If the event does occur, how likely is it to prevent friends and relatives from safely arriving to the place of visitation or service?
• How disruptive would rescheduling be to your family who might already have arrived from out of town and are required to return home?
• Are there third parties (cemeteries, crematories, churches etc.) who may close regardless of how you wish to proceed?
“Gathering” is one of the most important aspects of celebrating someone’s life, and is the principal reason families opt for a viewing and funeral service. It provides the opportunity and the location for friends and family to express their grief, share stories and memories of the deceased, and acknowledge the life that has been lived; more importantly, it provides the opportunity and location for the family of the deceased to receive all those benefits. Oftentimes, families who have made the decision to proceed based solely on their own ability to arrive at the funeral home realized too late that a large number of their relatives and friends couldn’t safely do the same, thereby depriving themselves and their friends of the most important aspect of the funeral process.
Should you find yourself in this difficult position, know that we will work diligently with you to provide options and alternatives, and that we will maintain as much flexibility as possible to limit the effects of these storms on your services.