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Funeral homes adapt to social distancing

The efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 have impacted every aspect of our lives, even the way we say goodbye to our loved ones.

TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — Families come to the Sheldon Kukuchka Funeral Home in Tunkhannock to plan how they will grieve, heal, and honor together the life of the loved one they've lost.

But right now, no more than 10 people can be inside the funeral home at a time, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

"It seems like, you know, even though this is a very difficult time in somebody's life, the severity and the risk factors of this virus, I think is really taken into consideration, and they don't want to infect anyone or have anybody infect them," said funeral director Eric Kukuchka.

Kukuchka says families can have smaller, private memorial services at the funeral home, but more and more, they're choosing to postpone the service at no extra charge.

Webcasting the services has always been an option, but Kukuckha thinks it will be a more popular choice now. He wants people to know that the most important service offered by the funeral home -- to provide comfort -- has not changed.

"We're still available 24/7, and we will do anything that we have to do to make a horrible time in their life a little bit more comforting with everything is going on today."

The funeral home in Tunkhannock has even reached out to widows and widowers it has served in the past.

"(We) asked if they needed anything, asked if we could go pick them up meals, go to the grocery store for them, to the pharmacy, just, you know, so they didn't have to come out and be concerned with getting the virus."

Kukuchka says family members can contact the funeral home over the phone to make arrangements, but they are still welcome to do so face to face if they prefer.