With COVID-19 restriction prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people, Stout & Son Funeral Home is giving families a way to be at funerals virtually.
The funeral home is offering live-streaming of funerals, allowing more people to “attend” while still protecting others from the spread of the coronavirus. While Stout & Son has been offering the live-streaming service for nearly a decade, more families are taking advantage of it now, according to Marty Stout of Stout & Son Funeral Home.
“It’s coming to the top of our offerings right now,” said Stout.
In the past, the service had been used in situations where, for instance, families may have had out-of-town loved ones who wanted to be a part of a funeral in some capacity or had military family members who were unable to attend. Through the live-streaming option, those people still were able to watch their family member get put to rest.
Now, the service is being used more as state and local restrictions have prohibited gathering of more than 10 people – including at funerals.
Matt Grecu at Stout & Son Funeral Home said family members are having to severely limit who can attend funerals, and the rest are being directed to either a live-stream of the funeral or to a video that can be watched afterward.
“Now we’re just trying to let families to continue to be a part of the service,” said Grecu. “Really it’s something where the families are having to really just kind of cinch down to where it’s immediate family to be present for the services. Limiting the gatherings to 10 people certainly, even for families, puts a pretty tight constraint on things, so we’re working to try and make that all come together for families as best we can to let as many people be included as possible this way.”
For those who choose to use the service, the live stream or pre-recorded video is uploaded to a loved one’s individual page on the Stout & Son Funeral Home website and can be viewed there.
An added benefit to more people taking advantage of the live-streaming service, Grecu said, was that more families were recognizing that they can involve out-of-state loved ones.
“Families are being much more responsive to this, and it’s been interesting that the families we’re serving – although it’s beneficial to family and friends that are close by – they’re saying, ‘Well, we have a cousin out in Denver,’ or this or that that wouldn’t have been able to be here anyway. So they’re seeing the value in it beyond just the current situation,” Grecu said.
Grecu noted that he was thankful the funeral home already had this technology in place and was able to offer it to families immediately. He said Stout & Son is continuing to invest it in and improve the service.
“This isn’t what we had in mind when we started doing this years ago, but it’s certainly a blessing to have it for these families now,” Grecu said. “We have families that have suffered a loss, and we don’t want anything that’s done here to contribute to further loss in their family.”