Three months waiting to begin the grieving process

Trois mois d’attente pour amorcer son deuil

Nearly 1000 families in Quebec have decided to postpone the funeral of their loved ones because of the COVID-19, although the celebrations restricted begin gradually to resume.

Even though the funeral homes have been designated as essential service at the beginning of the crisis, many families have postponed this opportunity to say a final goodbye to their loved one because the ceremonies of the church are interrupted or they feared being exposed to the virus.

“Everyone had hoped that it returns to normal in the near future, but it is clear that it will not return to normal quickly. We therefore prepared a recovery plan of the funerary rituals to allow the families to do the same to the commemorations taking into account the measures of social distancing, ” said Annie St-Pierre, director general of the Corporation of the thanatologues of Quebec.

The churches closed

The funeral could not be celebrated in churches. The diocese of Quebec, said to bend to the government’s decision.

“The question of the funeral, it is a thorn in our foot because we, since the beginning, we would like to be able to accompany the families and make funeral arrangements, but this is not allowed, because our places of worship are closed,” said Valérie Roberge-Dion, spokesman of the catholic Church of Quebec.

This situation forces families to make choices that are heart-rending. Children of Pierrette Demers, age 86, a native of Lévis, waiting for three months to pay tribute to their mother, who died on the 1st of march.

The last will

In his last will, the decedent wished to have a religious service at the church.

“When she died, there was no room in the church to hold the funeral. We waited and the COVID is arrival. I find it very difficult not to be able to begin my mourning “, has shared Paule Langlais, daughter of the deceased, who has finally made arrangements with the Group Garneau funeral director for a ritual to be celebrated Sunday.

A priest will come on the spot to recite a prayer in a strict supervision. The number of persons permitted is determined as a function of the surface area of the living room.

“In the past, you could receive four or five families at the same time. Now, it is one family at a time. When a family part, it disinfects everywhere, ” said Marie-Ève Garneau, director, operations at Group Garneau funeral director.

– With the collaboration of Kathryne Lamontagne

What is allowed in funeral homes :

  • A single family of deceased to the times
  • Minimum two hour break between each new exhibition
  • Condolences transmitted without physical contact
  • Burials
  • Flowers

What is not allowed :

  • Celebrations in the churches
  • Service of beverages (tea, coffee)
  • Buffet Service
  • Attendance records (due to the pencil)
  • Family gatherings
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