Honoring the Life by Telling the Story
Honoring the Life by Telling the Story

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Providing Resources and Options to Celebrate Life

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Suminski Family Funeral Homes Funeral Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Suminski Family Funeral Homes Funeral Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic

It has been our mission to encourage all aspects of the funeral, from the importance of the gathering together of family and friends to religious rites and services to honor the deceased and support families who have lost a loved one - it is said: grief shared is grief diminished.

It is with great sadness that we must now strictly limit attendance at funeral services for the safety of all and to comply with the following restrictions that have been placed on all public and private gatherings until further notice by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Andrea Palm, Department of Health Service Secretary on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in Emergency Order #5:

  • All public and private mass gatherings (defined as 10 or more people gathering in an enclosed or confined space) are prohibited in the State of Wisconsin – places of worship and religious gatherings are specifically named in this Emergency Order.
  • Public or private gatherings of 10 people or less in an enclosed or confined space must:
    • Preserve social distancing of 6 feet between people
    • Follow all other public health recommendations issued by the WI Department of Health Services and the Centers of Disease Control (CDC)

We are still learning about transmission and feel that it is important for anyone planning to attend to understand the highly contagious nature of this virus. It is for these reasons that governmental restrictions on gatherings have been ordered. To comply with these orders and for the safety of the families we serve and our staff we have implemented restrictions on viewings and services.

  • We STRONGLY DISCOURAGE the elderly, those with weakened immune systems or those with underlying health conditions from attending.
  • It is suggested that those attending all be from the same household to prevent transmission between family members living in separate households
  • Anyone who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus OR who has been advised to self-quarantine MAY NOT BE PRESENT at arrangements, viewing, or service.

Arrangement Conferences

  • Gathering of statistical information and obituary information will be done over the telephone, email, or fax.
  • Service arrangements will be made over the telephone.
  • In-person meetings will be limited to merchandise selection and obtaining required signatures and will only be scheduled if the family does not have the ability to do this via email.
  • Any necessary in-person meeting will be limited to the person primarily responsible (or person of their choosing) for finalizing arrangements.
  • While the Funeral Home will have hand sanitizer available, we strongly suggest that the family member responsible for signing required documents bring along his or her own pen.

Viewings

  • Viewings will be limited to a maximum of 10 people – this number must include necessary funeral home staff – which unfortunately means that viewings will be very immediate family members only.
  • All attendees will be expected to preserve the ordered social distancing of 6 feet between people.
  • From the CDC website as of March 17, 2020:
    • “There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.”
    • Because viewings take place in an enclosed space, the amount of the viewing time will be limited.

Services

  • As with viewings, all of services will be limited to a maximum of 10 people – this number must include Clergy and necessary funeral home and cemetery staff – which unfortunately means that most services will be very immediate family members only.
  • All attendees will be expected to preserve the ordered social distancing of 6 feet between people.
  • The preferred location for all services is graveside.

Taharah

Due to the fact that those participating in a Taharah are unable to preserve the 6-foot social distancing in the Emergency Order, we are very concerned about the safety of the participants. While we will continue to offer standard personal protective equipment, we cannot guarantee that they will protect the participants from infecting each other as we are still learning about transmission. We feel that it is important for the participants to understand the highly contagious nature of this virus. We defer all decisions on change of procedures and additional precautions to be taken during the Taharah to the Chevra Kadisha and will continue to make our facility available for the Taharah as long as the Chevra Kadisha deems it safe to perform. Should the Chevra Kadisha determine that additional PPE (beyond the standard that we supply) is needed, we ask that participants bring these additional items along with them to the funeral home.

Please be aware that each place of worship and cemetery will have their own policies in place to comply with the Emergency Order and we must also comply with any additional restrictions.

Suminski Family Funeral Homes strongly believe in the value of having a public funeral / memorial service. We understand:

  • That for those of certain faiths, religious funeral rites are of significant importance.
  • That honoring a loved one and sharing memories in a formal setting with family and friends is an important part of the grief process.
  • The importance of the support of extended family and friends when a death occurs.

It is for these reasons that we encourage holding a memorial service once the danger of contagion has passed and the Emergency Order restrictions have been lifted.

There are things families can do now to honor their loved-ones – we can help you share your loved-one’s Life Story right now.





The Life Story Experience

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Every Life has a Story!

At Suminski Life Story Funeral Homes, we honor each life by writing, sharing, and preserving the Life Story. Writing the Life Story of each family member ensures that the stories are saved and NEVER forgotten. Generations can pass, and the Life Stories will live on. We can begin writing stories for your family today.

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