WACO, Texas (KWTX) – As the number of COVID-19 deaths continues to rise, making arrangements for loved ones has become a more time-consuming process.
A funeral home in Waco says its employees are feeling the pressure as the volume of work is almost overwhelming.
The problem is the number of people in need of services, both funerals and cremations, especially when it comes to loved ones cremation.
The process can now take a few additional days and, in extreme cases, additional weeks.
“The past two years have been very challenging with the pandemic,” said Brent Shehorn, owner and executive director of the Lake Shore Funeral Home. “Lately all the more with the high number of cases.”
Backlogs from the cremation are partly due to the necessary waiting times, document certifications and the permission of certain family members.
Most funeral directors in the area also need to use a third party cremation provider, which costs additional time. But at Lake Shore, where there is an in-house crematorium, the waiting time is even longer than usual.
And it takes its toll on the employees.
“We work every day, probably an average of 15 hours a day,” said Shehorn.
It’s not just funeral directors in central Texas dealing with these issues.
KWTX News10 reached almost a dozen other funeral directors. Most acknowledged dealing with the same problems, particularly cremations.
But many were too busy to interview on camera.
“It’s a national issue, and with other staff I know across the country, I think the story is very similar.”
And on Lake Shore there is sympathy from most families who see the struggle.
“Nevertheless, we are the ones who (should) bless them. In return, they bless us with gifts, pray for us where we should pray for them in turn. “
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