Featured / News / Community / Business / 9th September 2021
Funerals impacted by lockdown rules
COVID-19 lockdown restrictions across NSW have impacted many lives, but spare a thought for families grieving the loss of loved ones, with funerals now limited to only 10 attendees.
Despite there being no active cases in Warrumbungle Shire (at the time of print), lockdown restrictions still affect our local communities.
Unfortunately, death waits for no one. And if you have lost a family member or a loved one during the restrictions you know how tough things can really be.
In the past three weeks Castlereagh Funerals has conducted no less than 10 funerals.
Twelve families have endured not only losing a loved one, but have had to face the daunting experience of choosing only 10 family members to attend the service to say their final goodbyes.
“It’s just terrible and really hard on the families,” said Alison Walton, from Castlereagh Funerals.
“As you can probably imagine, it’s a very sad and hard time on everyone.
“But what do you do? You can’t change it and the fines are too high for people and the last thing people want when mourning a loved one is to get issued with a fine on top.”
Mrs Walton said although it was tough for families to pick only 10 attendees, she said it would probably make proceedings even more difficult if the number was raised to 20 or 30.
“With the 10, that allows for the immediate family, but if there’s more - where do you make the cut off? At neighbours? Friends?”
While the grieving parties don’t always agree with the restrictions put in place, Mrs Walton said all families they had dealt with had been understanding and complied with the rules.
“Most of the families have plans to hold celebrations for the rest of their family and friends once the restrictions are lifted,” Mrs Walton said.
To assist those who are unable to attend funerals due to restrictions, Castlereagh Funerals now provide a live- streaming service from their Facebook page from where family members and friends can view the service live.
Coonabarabran funeral celebrant Tony Brain summed up the current situation.
“It’s strange, completely different, emotional and can be distressing,” Mr Brain said.
“It can be an entirely different atmosphere and at times can lead to more of sitting and having close conversations with the family than it being an actual service.
“It’s something that if you haven’t experienced, you can’t really imagine it.
“The limited access for family and friends can lead to feelings of grief and loss being intensified.
“I will be pleased when the lockdowns are over and families can be together again and support each other at these sad times.”