It was recently reported that California passed the three million mark in the number of documented COVID-19 cases and passed the 33,000 mark in death due to COVID-19. According to several sources, that great number has caused some funeral homes to stop accepting new death call cases.
That has caused Dignity Memorial director Anthony Lampe to make the following statement about California’s Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary, “We want to be there to support the community. … Our intention is to at least be the one person that can help people … so we’ve decided that we’re going to bend over backward to accommodate, no matter what we have to do.”
Lampe continued speaking of his experience with the pandemic by saying the following, “I’ve been in this business just about 30 years, and I’ve worked around people that have been doing it longer, and none of us have ever seen anything like this. This is clearly a different thing compared to the worst-case scenario we’ve ever seen before. … It’s like every day, it’s a disaster after disaster after disaster — it’s sort of the perfect storm.”
According to this article from the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, here are some things that Lampe and Eternal Valley have done to try to help all families in need:
- Bring a retired embalmer back to work.
- Using funeral directors who work elsewhere to help with virtual arrangements.
- Has ordered refrigerated storage units.
- Turned a chapel into a storage facility for bodies that don’t need refrigeration.
- Asked families to consider a quick disposition by burial or cremation with a memorial service to follow at a later date to help with controlling storage capacity.
Even with all they have done, here is what Lampe says about going forward, “What it was a few weeks ago, what is today, the kind of decisions I might be putting out tomorrow could all be a little bit different. “It’s hard to say — nobody can really tell us what it’s going to look like in the next two, three, four, five weeks.”
Funeral Director Daily says kudos to Anthony Lampe for what he is trying to do for those people so in need of care. Again, it is another great example of how we have seen death care personnel put service to others over self during this pandemic. And, that is a great attitude to have.
Dignity Memorial is owned by Service Corporation International.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Funeral homes and families struggle with coronavirus restrictions. News video and print article. 9 & 10 News – Local 32. (MI)
- Budget cremations without mourners made up a quarter of all funerals during COVID crisis and prices slid. This is Money (United Kingdom)
- Etowah funeral home employee charged with stealing from business, customers. News video and print article. WATE ABC 6 (TN)
- Former Los Angeles agent arraigned for theft and fraud in funeral insurance scam, California Department of Insurance reports. Sierra Sun Times (CA)
- Pandemic: LA County Cemetery, largest in nation, struggles with backlog of burials. News video and print article. ABC 7 News (Los Angeles, CA)
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