COVID-19 has caused changes in every facet of society, from simple shopping trips to major milestones such as graduation.
For a mortician, life has not been the same since March.
For Guinevere Tolbert, the mortician at Pacific View Memorial Chapel, this time has been trying and there have been a lot of changes made to how the funeral home operates.
“As an industry, we are in unfamiliar territory and in a new age of grieving,” Tolbert said. “As a mortician, I strive to give my families options to help them make the transition from the moment of death to the beginning of healing.
“The bereaved already feel so isolated and alone in their grief. Bringing together the bereaved is my profession, and without that there is something missing.”
The one part of this career that makes it rewarding is comforting the families and seeing how ceremonies and funerals bring the bereaved together in a safe place where grief is recognized and acknowledged. Tolbert talked about how she sees real love and real pain expressed during funerals that help bring healing for the bereaved.
“Those left behind tell us how thankful they are that they could have their final goodbyes, that they didn’t think it was possible due to the nature of the person’s death,” Tolbert expressed.
Since the wave of cases in Newport and the recent COVID-19 deaths, Pacific View Memorial Chapel has begun putting in procedures for dealing with COVID-19 deaths. These include new viewing, funeral and arrangement procedures.
For families that have experienced a COVID-19 death, Pacific View Memorial Chapel is allowing limited outdoor viewings, which can be held at Pacific View Memorial Gardens. If a family member is COVID-19 positive, Pacific View Memorial Chapel is asking that the family member follow the Oregon Health Authority’s request of self quarantine and attend a funeral online.
For COVID-19 positive individuals who need to make funeral arrangements, those can be made over the phone, by fax, email or over a Zoom call. At this time, transportation of a body outside of the United States is not allowed, however shipping of cremated remains is allowed.
Currently, Pacific View Memorial Chapel is open by appointment only, for both pre-planning and funeral arrangements. During the time at the funeral home, face coverings are required, and both funerals and viewings are limited to no more than 25 people, following social distancing practices.
At this time, funerals or gravesides can be live streamed or held at a later date if families choose. Arrangements can be made online, over the phone, through fax or email. Pacific View Memorial Gardens is opened for visitors observing physical distancing.
The scatter garden at Pacific View Memorial Gardens is also open to visitors observing physical distancing.
If anyone would like to know more about procedures, Pacific View Memorial Chapel can be reached at 541-994-4662, pacificviewmemorialchapel.com, or on Facebook at Pacific View Memorial Chapel.
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