Funeral home uses drive-thru & live stream as families say goodbye to loved ones

Local News

MONROE, La. (04/17/2020) — For McFarland Funeral Companies, there’s no more walking up to the casket, in fact, you drive right up and for the Louis family, this loss, is like a bad case of deja vu.

“We would have never thought in a million years that something like this would hit our family so hard back to back like that.”

Anna Newsome, Cousin to victim of Covid-19

Covid-19, a silent killer, is why this family is saying goodbye to Pastor Hilton Louis Friday, but it’s also why they had to lay his wife to rest just last week.

“We can’t embrace each other, we can’t be together, it’s devastating,” said cousin to a victim of Covid-19, Anna Newsome.

That’s due to social distancing rules, which has also changed the way McFarland Funeral Homes holds it’s services.

“What have Facebook live for not only our funeral service and gravesite services but for our visitation,” said Rodney McFarland Sr.,” Founder of McFarland Funeral Companies.

“This drive-thru service and going live, it’ll help family members all over the country to be able to be able to view and be a part of the service even though they’re thousands of miles away,” said Newsome.

Ceremonies are now invite only, with a ten people max, but McFarland says the problem is people aren’t taking Covid-19 seriously.

“It is real, the numbers keep going up each and every day right here in Ouachita Parish and we still have people that won’t stay at home.”

Rodney McFarland Sr., Founder of McFarland Funeral Services

The reality is, Covid-19 is taking people’s lives without warning, forcing a goodbye you can never see coming.

McFarland says it’s still unclear how long Covid-19 stays on a body, so they’ve also increased the amount of PPE they wear when handling bodies. He says it’s best to ensure the safety of not only staff, but the families everyone goes home to.

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