JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the United States deals with the coronavirus pandemic, life goes on and so does death. How do you plan a funeral for a loved one when you're being asked to stay home and avoid large gatherings?
"What we're seeing right now is that many families are just putting off the services to a later date," Jamie Watts said.
Jamie Watts and his family have been in the funeral service business for more than 50 years. He says some families are postponing services while others are turning to cremation. The reason? He says they don't want to leave their homes because of the current health crisis.
"We were getting two, three maybe four calls a day," Watt's explained. "Now, we're getting maybe as many as 20 calls a day, and they're asking the same question."
Watts is the owner of Cremation Service of Florida. He runs a website where people can plan a cremation for a loved one and fill out all the paperwork online. Watts says his business takes care of the body and will deliver the ashes of the deceased right to the family's front door.
He did that recently for a woman who didn't want to leave her home out of fear of exposing her husband to coronavirus.
"Her husband had a liver transplant and she didn't want to go out and expose him," he explained. "She asked 'Can you ship them to me? I said 'Yes, I would be happy to do that for you.'"
First Coast News checked with other funeral homes in our area. If you wish to have a traditional funeral, some will stream services online or social media. Many are asking only immediate family members to attend services because of CDC guidelines.