During these unprecedented times, funeral directors say their jobs are more important now than ever before. The coronavirus pandemic and social distancing restrictions are making it difficult for families to mourn the loss of loved ones.
"Our challenge is, how do we create something meaningful when the family is not here?" said Michael Turch, one of the owners of an Alexandria funeral home.
He said social distancing measures have forced funeral directors to get creative, since only 10 mourners or fewer can be inside at any given time.
During viewings and services, videos of loved ones, photographs and other meaningful memories are streamed from projectors onto the walls of the Cunningham Turch Funeral Home in Alexandria.
"If you’re from D.C., you love the cherry blossoms, we can have cherry blossoms up here," Turch said. "We can have photographs of your favorite beach."
Outside of the chapel, large photos of the deceased were on display.
Turch said services inside their chapel are recorded and posted online so loved ones who aren’t able to be there can watch and mourn from home.
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Funeral directors like Turch say they’re doing the best they can to make sure families can properly say goodbye and mourn, even in the midst of a pandemic.
"It’s challenging but so very rewarding," Turch said.