Lowcountry funeral directors adapt to a new pandemic normal

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – COVID-19 has created new challenges in every aspect of life including death and funeral homes say it has created new hurdles it’s creating for those who have lost a loved one.

Local funeral home owners like Coakley Hilton of The Lowcountry Mortuary says, “We are doing a lot of graveside services so we are not going through the churches, we have to limit the number of people who are attending the services.”

He says the pandemic has made the grieving process even more challenging.

“Meeting with friends and family, sharing that time with your loved ones and because you cant do that its making the grieving process a little bit longer,” Hilton says.

On top of that, some Hispanic families must wait 2 months for their loved ones to be buried.

“No viewing no funeral services no anything. That is very traumatic on the Hispanic families,” he says.

Hilton says only letting in 5 visitors in at a time makes it hard to enforce the restrictions.

“We as funeral directors, we have to pleasantly persistent with that, keeping in mind people are grieving,” he says.

He hopes for a return to normal services as more people are vaccinated.

“This is not just a job for me, and it really hurts when I see families hurting. As soon as the vaccines can get out, we will be able to get back to normalcy,” Hilton says.

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