Today, June 1, many of the provisions of the Governor’s latest Proclamation take effect. One of those provisions is easing the social gathering restrictions. The Governor, though, sets some requirements like the “Organizer” MUST ensure social distancing of 6 feet between individuals and groups as well as capacity restrictions. In our area some, but not all, churches are opening for Worship and Funerals and Weddings.
We are here to help you understand what is possible as you experience a death and need to draw together your community of support.
It is humbling to us that, since March 17, over 500 of you have shown your visual attendance through our Hugs from Home program. Over 1800 of you have watched a recorded service on our website. Our grief support groups have been continuing to meet virtually. Just as our mission states that: “We will fairly, honestly, and compassionately offer our expertise and guidance before, at the time of, and after your loss;” we will continue to help you find ways to honor and celebrate the life of your loved one with the restrictions we have.
We understand that there are many opinions on the correct path forward as we progress through the COVID-19 pandemic. The steps taken to date were meant to slow the virus down – to flatten the curve, so to speak – but were not expected to stop the virus. At some point we will all be exposed either by community spread or by vaccine. Ideally that exposure is measured and in controlled phases.
It is our belief that we are at the point to begin taking those controlled measures. Every one of us has the ability to make personal decisions based on our own comfort level and circumstances such as underlying health concerns as we as a city/state/nation/world begin to venture out and regain whatever sense of normalcy life holds for us.
We are, admittedly, not all-knowing and we are not experts in all fields. The only thing we can do is to strive to make the best decisions with the information available to us at that time. As we saw in March, that information can change very quickly. We did our best to make necessary changes in order to protect our team and the families we serve. We will continue to make changes in this manner.
We empathize with you. We know that gathering together to mourn the loss of a loved one is a vital part of the grieving process. During this time we have been helping families through their grief and caring for their loved ones in less than ideal circumstances. And we understand that your grief following a loss is only compounded by the frustration and anger you feel at not having the opportunity to gather with those you care about and mourn together.
Just as churches reopening to worship, or retail stores opening to full capacity, our ability to have funerals and visitations without restriction will take time. We believe the best way we can protect the families we serve, with guidance from the CDC, is to continue with private services only at this time. While the restriction of ten per gathering has been lifted, we feel it would not be prudent to open services to the public. We can discuss with you the options we have at our facilities to accommodate social distancing.
We offer the option for recording all of our services, including at the graveside; which can be posted to our website, if you choose. As always, with every family we serve, we strive to fulfill your wishes. Unfortunately, there are some things we cannot do right now. But we will work to find solutions that are meaningful to you and do our best to provide the service that is right for your loved one.
As ever, we are humbled and thankful for the trust that you place in us. We will always honor that trust by fairly, honestly, and compassionately offering our guidance and expertise.
Across time and culture there are common elements that people observe following a death. One of those basic human needs is to draw together the community of support and to draw together those who we care most about.
You have the ability now to show your support and be there for the family during their gathering. When you go to the obituary on our website and click to send a private message to the family. We will print that message, attach it to a balloon and the family will be able to see and feel your support when they enter our chapel. A powerful visual support for people when they need it most.
You are familiar with the expression in lieu of flowers, in lieu of your attendance, please, send a private message to the family through our website obituary and help us create, albeit it virtually, the community of support. Please reach out to that family, you can still send flowers, you can still give a memorial. Following the service, we will also be posting a recording on our website when appropriate.
With gatherings limited to 10 people it may seem impossible to draw together as a community and support those who we care most about. These are some of our solutions. As a nature lover we are not releasing the balloons in a balloon release. I would like to thank fellow Selected Independent Funeral Homes member Andrea Orr from Milner & Orr Funeral Home in Paducah, Kentucky for sharing her solution to this dilemma.
Grief is not limited or dictated by the State of Public Health Disaster Emergency currently in place in the State of Iowa. Regardless of whether you have experienced a death, we are all experiencing grief right now.
We are following the prohibition of social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people. We will do our part to keep our staff, the families who call on us, and the public safe, and offer our help and guidance.
This means that services with the potential of 10 or more people will be postponed. As of now, all services will be rescheduled following April 1 when we are able to re-access or as we receive more guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health. We understand the need to honor and celebrate the lives of our loved ones and our professional staff will continue to guide you through the process.
Those whose service has been postponed will remain in our care. Their family can come and visit them by calling the funeral home ahead of time, but not in groups. Our staff is available to meet your needs. We ask that if you want to meet with us you may do so by appointment. (319) 233-3146
You can do your part to reach out and support a family in grief. You can continue to help satisfy the basic human need to draw together our community of support, just on a smaller scale for now. Reach out, call the family, help them remember that they are not going through this time alone.
This public health event has evolved with guidance and mandates changing rapidly. We will continue to follow guidance put forth from the CDC, State of Iowa, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Black Hawk County Health Department with the intent of doing our part to keep everyone safe.
We will be here to help you through these unprecedented times. (319) 233-3146
Take the guess work and uncertainty out of sending a sympathy expression by ordering online through our website. We will coordinate delivery with the florist and ensure that your expression arrives on time.
Meet our caring team of funeral professionals who are here to assist you through every step.
With three locations, Kearns Funeral Service can serve your family from our facility on Kimball Avenue in Waterloo, at Garden View Chapel in Waterloo, and in La Porte City.