Metro Detroit funeral homes forced to make major changes during coronavirus crisis

Families forced to adjust how they remember loved ones

DETROIT – Some of the essential businesses that remain open during the coronavirus crisis are funeral homes, but how are families supposed to remember their loved ones without gathering? Many have been left without a choice.

Tim Lynch Jr. took Local 4 on a tour of Lynch & Sons Funeral Home in Walled Lake. Just like other essential businesses, his has drastically changed.

“You know, you have someone that’s lived a long, beautiful life and they want to celebrate that, and unfortunately, the traditional ways in which we celebrate that, we just cannot do right now, and that makes it very difficult for those grieving families to start processing and moving through their grief when we can’t even do the most basic step one of that,” Lynch said.

The coronavirus has people keeping their social distance, which also means no funeral services larger than 10 people. Virtual services are an option.

“Families were still opting to have funerals when we could keep it to 50 people,” Lynch said. "Now that we’ve dropped it, people are omitting the funeral altogether.

The longer embalmed bodies are kept, the less they’ll look like themselves.

“It might (be) so long between now and a visitation,” Lynch said. “It might be counterproductive to maintain that.”

It’s another essential service that’s having to adapt during these uncertain times.

“We’re able to continue serving families, it just looks different to people,” Lynch said. “It is very difficult, because people understand this is out of (our) control, but that doesn’t mean they’re not upset and angry about it.”

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