After meeting Thursday morning, funeral homes in Madison County will now be holding only private services with a small number of family members in attendance.
The decision comes with guidance and recommendations from local and national health experts, Gov. Andy Beshear, The Kentucky Funeral Directors Association and The National Funeral Directors Association.
The decision and statement came from six local funeral homes: Combs, Parsons & Collins Funeral Home; Davis & Powell Funeral Directors; Heritage Funeral Home; Lakes Funeral Home and Cremation Services; Oldham, Roberts & Powell Funeral Home; and Reppert Funeral Home and Cremation Service.
“We stand united in doing our part to compassionately care for and serve our community. We appreciate your cooperation in working with us in honoring your loved ones in ways that are meaningful, and that also take into consideration current federal and state guideline regarding public health and safety,” their statement reads.
The statement adds that all funeral homes are open and serving families, but in accordance with these temporary guidelines.
Shannon Combs, co-owner and president of Combs, Parsons & Collins, said the funeral homes felt it best to have a collaborative approach.
“We regret that we’re having to have to limit services provided,” he told The Register. “We’re just being good citizens and trying to do our part to make sure no more people are affected. That’s why we’re limiting services.”
Combs said the funeral homes are suggesting to families to have a memorial service at a later date.
Greg Powell, owner of Davis & Powell Funeral Home, said the directors don’t like having to do this anymore than the families.
“We understand the families need that love and compassionate to start that healing process,” Powell told The Register. “We will be offering services for larger number of folks at a later date should families want them. We are here to continue to serve our families.”
Powell said the funeral homes struggled to come to the conclusion of limited attendance services, but felt it was the best thing to do with the information that they were receiving.
“This is tough. We’re in uncharted waters and we’ve never experienced anything like this before,” he said. “It makes it doubly tough on the families.”
Terrell Cobb, Jr., owner of Oldham, Roberts & Powell Funeral Home, said all the funeral homes want to be here for the families of Madison County and be good citizens of the community.
“Families are grieving and we want to take care of the families in their time of need,” he said. “With what is going on, everything has changed temporarily. I hope that this is just temporary.”
Cobb emphasized that the funeral homes are still having services for families. Those services are just private based on what has been recommended.
Jonathan Greene is the editor of The Register; follow him on Twitter @jgreeneRR.