Virtual funerals offering comfort during a time of social distancing

Posted at 6:33 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 22:37:33-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — After decades in the funeral business, Daniel Bryan has seen a lot, but then COVID-19 hit.

"This is unlike anything I've ever seen in my 30-something years of experience," said Bryan, the general manager of the Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home and Cemetery

Though it may feel like the world is on pause, grief is not.

Bryan says this led to some recent challenges when it came to following CDC guidelines while graveside.

"You can pick ten people to come to the service. Who do you pick? And who do you offend who've been lifelong friends of not being able to participate," said Bryan.

To help fix this, the funeral home is now offering virtual funeral services.

Bryan says the software allows families to invite up to 500 people to participate and provides time for people to share some words and comfort each other during the service.

"We can have people participate regardless of where they are," said Bryan.

He adds that while it will never replace the real thing, he hopes that it provides some small comfort to those who are mourning during this time.

"You can't replace a hug. When someone's going through a hard time, such as a loss of a loved one, you can't replace that physical touch. However, to know you're not alone is priceless," said Bryan.