Coping with grief during a pandemic

Posted on June 2, 2020 by Communications under Community, Grief
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By Calyn Hoerner

Dave Owens

Dave Owens, funeral director at Coleman Funeral Home of Southaven

Grief caused by the loss of a loved one is difficult under normal circumstances. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this grief, coupled with feelings of isolation and strict social distancing guidelines that were in place, left families struggling for closure.

The staff at Coleman Funeral Home of Southaven are seeing a new kind of grief as they continue to serve families during these unprecedented times.

As they continued to serve families during the pandemic, staff at Coleman Funeral Home of Southaven saw a new kind of grief.

“Families were not able to gather, comfort one another and share memories as they did before,” said Dave Owens, funeral director at Coleman Funeral Home of Southaven. “At the height of the pandemic, we were only able to hold gatherings of 10 people or less, so it could be difficult to truly honor a lost loved one in the correct way.”

Many families who experienced a loss during this time have chosen to have a private service now and hold a larger celebration of life once they can gather with loved ones again. Amidst this pain, however, Owens is seeing families find new ways to come together.

“We recently held a service with only eight family members in attendance,” he said. “This funeral had already been delayed twice due to the pandemic, but the family chose the bring in loved ones via video call. The service was so moving, it was as if 200 people were in the room and not just eight. The resilience of the families we serve is truly inspiring.”

Lori Payne

Lori Payne, community ambassador for Coleman Funeral Home


Lori Payne, community ambassador for Coleman Funeral Home, says the isolation during the pandemic made focusing on anything other than grief difficult.

“Being stuck in the same environment everyday can make it hard to get your mind off of the loss,” said Payne. “It is important for those who have experienced a loss to reach out to friends and family as much as possible. We are so lucky to have tools like video calls, social media and even text messaging to keep us connected.”

Coleman Funeral Home of Southaven continues to adapt their services during these uncertain times. The funeral home has begun offering funeral planning and pre-planning appointments via Zoom, and now gives families the option to livestream services. Keeping the safety of families in mind, and in accordance with guidelines set by the Mississippi Governor, Coleman Funeral Home will begin holding services of 20 people or less.

“This is a trying time for everyone,” said Owens. “We want to continue serving families in the best way possible.”

To learn more about Coleman Funeral Home, visit

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