Coronavirus Updates

Pray Funeral Home has implemented new care standards to comply with state and federal mandates

Based on recommendations and guidelines by Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., C.T.Center for Loss and Life Transition

help for those in grief during COVid-19

help for those in grief during COVid-19

For those who have experienced loss during the COVID-19 Pandemic we have a new resource that may be helpful for you.  This book addresses loss from death, and ambiguous losses such as loss of financial or job security, and the disruption of normal routines while being isolated at home. 

The booklet written by certified Thanatologist Sara Murphy, Ph.D., CT. can be read through the link above, addresses the challenges of grieving the death of a loved one  and other losses during the COVID-19 pandemic including the nature of grief; traumatic loss and its triggers; ambiguous losses; and the risk of disenfranchised grief. It also addresses the importance of talking to children about death and memorialization and the difficulties of being separated from a loved one at the time of their death. The guide offers guidance on how families can meaningfully celebrate the life of their loved one and discusses the importance of maintaining your health while grieving.  

The Funeral Service Foundation funded this guide through the COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund, and created it in collaboration with the National Funeral Directors Association and

A special thank you author Sara Murphy, PhD, CT and foreword author Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD for their commitment to serving those who are grieving the death of a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our service to families within cdc and state mandates

Pray Funeral Home has already taken special precautions in relation to the Governor’s Executive Order regarding limiting gatherings to less than 50 people per room- see our previous post “We’re taking the COVID-19 situation very seriously!”  However, our compassionate staff must now consider how to approach funeral planning during this global pandemic, and to ensure that the grief of those experiencing a loss is not overlooked.  

We are reminded of a number of truths about funeral service from our good friend, Dr. Alan Wolfelt:

  • Anything that delays a funeral delays the natural mourning and healing process.
  • You can’t push “pause” on grief.  People will continue to feel their grief but will have fewer options to express it and be supported.

As Dr. Wolfelt states,”The forced need to separate loved ones and friends from each other at a time of death makes it much more difficult for individuals to experience the forward movement that funerals are intended to meet – reality, recall, support, expression and meaning.  For many people, it can be disorienting to be separated from the body of a loved one who has died. We naturally benefit from spending time with the body and having a chance to pay respects and say hello on the path to goodbye.”

Meaningful funerals are “rites of initiation.” They help survivors start the process of taking their grief, the “internal response to loss,” and allowing it to become mourning, the “shared response to loss.” When people cannot participate in a ceremony, they often feel as if their mourning is “on hold.”

During this unprecedented time, Pray Funeral Home will be still holding funeral services - while following the mandates from the State Government as well as the recommendations of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.  Those experiencing a death in their family must not feel that the coronavirus is a good reason to take the path of avoiding services altogether. Families must consider taking the necessary steps to acknowledge their grief. Despite the current challenges with the COVID-19 virus, families experiencing a loss deserve support at this time.  

To serve the families at their time of loss, Pray Funeral Home is making the following recommendations in regards to funeral services and supporting those in grief:

  • Visitations and Funeral Services, in accordance with the State Executive Order, must be limited to 50 attendees or less people per room.  We are recommending that only family and close friends attend. In some cases families may consider issuing invitations for the funeral. In cases where more than 50 people attend we will have limited additional seating in other rooms in the funeral home to comply with the Executive Orders.  
  • In order to include those who may not be able to attend, we will be providing webcasting of all of our services, so they may be viewed LIVE at home.  We can also provide recordings for those without internet connectivity. On a limited basis Pray Funeral Home will also make arrangements for people to participate in the service through Skype at the request of the family.
  • Dr. Wolfelt suggests considering holding an additional service after the current restrictions are lifted.  In doing this, a family will be able to gather with the larger group of friends who may be unable to join them during the restricted time frame.  For families who opt to hold a later gathering, Pray Funeral Home will arrange and conduct these additional services at no additional charge. This additional gathering is an excellent way to honor the life of a loved one and activate longer-term support systems.
  • We encourage those wishing to support the bereaved to reach out using Skype-type apps so they can see facial expressions and approximate physical closeness.  A simple phone call or even a letter can also show support to those sequestered in their grief.
  • For those families who contact us for preplanning of funeral services we also have the ability to meet with families and individuals by computer using Zoom meeting programs for those who do not wish to meet in person.   

Pray Funeral Home is here to help our community and families facing a loss in the face of this even more difficult time due to the challenges we face with the COVID-19 restrictions.

Call or email us anytime with questions or ideas on how to help.