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Empowering our Community – Putnam Coronavirus Response

We at Putnam work hard to empower our community with information and help build a positive and meaningful foundation for grief.  With the advent of the Coronavirus – COVID-19 – people are starting to change how they interact with each other.  This has implications for how families handle arrangements with funeral homes and their choices for viewing and services.

As funeral directors, we are always on the front lines.  We are experienced working with families and deceased who have been exposed to a variety of pathogens, and we are vigilant in protecting our staff and our families.  With this novel virus, rest assured that we are implementing additional disinfection and containment procedures that go beyond standard infection prevention and control precautions when taking your loved one into our care and that we are including the use of additional personal protective equipment (above and beyond what is required) when embalming.  As a standard practice, we thoroughly clean and disinfect our facilities on a regular basis and before and after visitations, services, and when working with families of a deceased with a known pathogen.  We have increased our disinfection procedures to include day-to-day foot traffic.

When it is time to make funeral or cremation arrangements, we are stocked with hand sanitizer and hand washing stations for our families that choose to meet with us face-to-face.  We can also utilize Docusign to facilitate remote arrangements.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that a loved one who died of COVID-19 may be buried or cremated according to the family’s preferences.  The CDC also reports that “ a funeral or visitation service can be held for a person who has died of COVID-19,” and that “there is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-10.”  However, the CDC urges people to not touch the body of someone who has died of COVID-19 and to continue to wash your hands and cover coughs and sneezes.  We are prepared to discuss alternatives, such as webcasting or moving a service to a later date, with our concerned families.

With on-site refrigeration and the only crematory in the Highland Lakes area, your loved one stays at Putnam, nor do we cremate for other funeral homes or cremation services, thus potentially helping to reduce the spread of this virus within our community and state.  Putnam cares, and we go above and beyond to maintain your peace of mind.  Please do not hesitate to call, email, or visit the following web sites for more information:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#funerals

https://www.nfda.org/covid-19

Last Wishes with Jessamyn

Following her emotional experiences with loss, Michelle has created a series of podcasts to help others by discussing ways to plan for the inevitable and help the healing. Jessamyn Putnam joins her on Episode 2, entitled, “Last Wishes with Jessamyn,” in which last wishes and end-of-life planning are discussed.

Michelle lost her parents unexpectedly in a tragic car accident and then lost her brother following his battle with cancer.  Her journey taught her things that she wished she did not have to learn the hard way.  Therefore she created this podcast to help others discover what they should do in advance.  She believes that in order to live well, we must learn how to die well.  And her sincerest wish is that she can help others prepare for, and not be scared about preparing for, the inevitable.  Her podcast contains interviews with hospice, a funeral director, a pastor, and several people and organizations who can be involved with end-of-life decisions.  These podcasts are free and available to everyone.  When asked if this was part of her grief journey and a way for her to make meaning out of her loss, Michelle responded that yes it was.

After listening to the series, one hospice nurse stated, “This series of podcasts has given me a clear focus and I want to share these podcasts with so many more people!”

Remember, that in order to live well we must learn how to die well, and by learning from Michelle’s experience, maybe some of the stress and anxiety associated with end-of-life decision making will be reduced.  Death is never easy, but creating a plan for it now will go a long well to helping you and the ones you leave behind.

Last Wishes with Jessamyn 

Sally G Nelson