What Funeral Homes Can Do During COVID-19 to Serve Their Clients, Even From a Distance

20 Mar 2020 - Tracey Wallacce

Welcome

We don’t know how long the coronavirus will be forcing people to stay home or tos gather only in groups of 10. What we know is that those who are grieving need ritual and memorialization options for their loved ones.

It does not matter to these people that there is a pandemic. What matters is that their loved one is gone, and they want to honor them, respect them, and say their goodbyes properly.

It isn’t fair for those who will have someone close to them pass away over the next weeks and months. Some cities and states are beginning to issue “Shelter in Place” orders. And many funeral homes around the country are helping to set-up small (less than 10 people) memorial services that can be live-streamed. Others are having to shut down entirely, offering only cremation and burial services for the time being.

This is heartbreaking and scary for those who are grieving, as well as for the dedicated funeral directors who serve them.

We know that some of our funeral partners, like the amazing folks over at Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service in Columbus, Ohio are helping clients put on small memorial services and live-streaming now, and allowing clients to come back in a few months for a larger service at no additional charge.

This is important –– because funeral homes are businesses, too. In order to provide the service they do, they need to pay their directors, and keep the lights on, as well as keep clients happy and reassure them on this difficult time (for the client personally and for us all).

So, what can those of us in the space do to give grievers what they need (what they deserve!) at this time? Well, we might have to think a little bit outside the box.

3 New Funeral Home Offering and Memorial Service Ideas for During Times of Pandemic

Memorial Diamonds and a Memorial Service Homecoming in 7-10 Months

Memorial diamonds take 7-10 months to make. During that time, Eterneva gives the client monthly photo and video updates detailing exactly where their loved one is in the process.

Customers love these updates, and often share them with friends and family. They encourage conversation about the loved one, about who they were –– not the way they passed. In general, folks who go through a memorial diamond journey come out the other side in a better place.

So much so that Baylor University is studying the physiological effects of a memorial diamond journey versus a control group. The goal is to better understand what is happening psychologically over the 7-10 months.

Once the memorial diamond is ready to go home, Eterneva typically works with the customer to create a homecoming. For many, this feels like their loved one is coming home.

However, in 7-10 months, these social distancing measures should be lifted.

This means that the memorial diamond homecoming can coincide with a large memorial service at your funeral home after the pandemic is over.

The client will have had a helping hand for the 7-10 months leading up to the event, and now, they can show off the diamond to friends and family and celebrate the life of their loved one.

What’s in it for my organization?

Beyond offering a grief wellness experience in difficult times, your organization will receive a revenue share on any sale Eterneva makes to clients you recommend. Eterneva’s average order value is $8,000.

Moreover, this gives you a way to engage families and offer a service during a tough time. And, you still host a huge celebration and can make the revenue back in 7-10 months.

How does this work?

If you are a funeral home who would like to start offering this to clients right now, simply fill out this form or email us at info@eterneva.com.

What will happen next is simple. We will create a custom landing page for you, similar to this, that will explain everything for your client. When you have a client that is interested, you simply send them to the page.

From there, we will know they came from you, alert your team, and get that client started with more information. As the diamond journey progresses, we will keep you and your client updated so that proper homecoming plans can be made in 7-10 months.

And that’s it! A unique memorial option for a unique time, and a grief wellness experience people need in a moment when anxiety and fear is so paramount.

Let us know if you’d like to participate!

An Instant Keepsake with Thumbies

Want to offer something more immediate to your grieving families? Talk to them about Thumbies, which will get them a keepsake right now. Then, you can continue to work with them to plan a memorial service for the future –– or one that is live-streamed.

Thumbies work for human prints, paw prints, scanned prints, and even cremated remains. Better yet, Thumbies has a partner program –– so you business can make affiliate money even during these down times.

“Thumbies are top notch, and truly are keepsakes that tell a story. I have been a funeral director for over 25 years, and many fads within the industry have come and gone. That is not the case at all with the keepsakes from Thumbies,” says Carol Lynn DeFiore- Funeral Director-Owner.

“The process is easy, and the outcome is always more than families expect. Families love the sentiment of their keepsakes, and a simple thumbprint allows families to remain connected to their loved ones.”

Support Families and Local Creatives with Commemoration and Tribute Videos Services

Commemoration and tribute videos are beloved by families, and your home may already offer this. One good option right now is to hire this service out to a local videographer and creative, or multiple, who can spend a little bit of time with the family and capture memories and the story of their loved one’s life.

You can offer this service for free with a downpayment on a memorial service in a few months, where the tribute video will be revealed.

This is a great option for a difficult time, helps the local community and shows your dedication to grieving families.

Unique Options for a Unique Time

Whatever your funeral home decides to do in this time, know that the entirety of the death care community is behind you. These are important moments for families. All of us are doing what we can to keep our homes afloat, our own families safe and secure, and help our clients like we always do.

Hopefully this gives a few ideas to help you make ends meet and continue to provide amazing, caring service in this time.

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