Cremations on rise as pandemic impacts funerals

Cremations on rise as pandemic impacts funerals

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Funeral homes say they are receiving more requests for cremations as the coronavirus pandemic restricts families on the type of funerals they can have.

Joe Lewis, the director at Peoples Funeral Home, said many times people come in with the request because the loved one wished to be cremated, but now others are choosing that option because of social distancing guidelines.

To prevent family members from having to travel, some are cremating to keep the ashes and wait to have a larger memorial service.

The chapel at Peoples can hold more than 300 people, but because of the pandemic they are not allowing that many people inside and are offering to stream the service online.

COVID-19 has also forced the industry to become more impersonal.

”We’re human beings. We need each other,” Lewis said. “This is a business where people are used to embracing and hugging and holding someone. Now, that factor is not there much, unless it is from an immediate family member. It does cause some undue pressure for the director as well as the families.”

Some families also choose to cremate and split the ashes since the family cannot pack a church, or they’ll spread the ashes at a sentimental place.

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