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“This has been the most challenging part,” said Anthony O’Donnell, of O’Donnell Funeral home in Salem. “It’s been hard finding a way to allow families to celebrate and honor the lives of the loved ones they have lost during this pandemic.
“We are used to celebrating their lives in a particular way, and now they cannot. As funeral directors, we carry the burdens of the families, but I don’t feel like I can do that in this environment. I can’t provide them everything they want.”
Anthony O’Donnell, of O’Donnell Funeral Home, said funeral homes are improvising. Like other Salem funeral-home outfits, O’Donnell said they are recording and live streaming funeral services.
“We had friends and family submit written remembrances of the deceased and place them on empty chairs throughout the funeral home with a single rose on each seat to represent their presence,” said O’Donnell. “The room was full of love and remembrance, and the roses on each chair were brought to the cemetery to place on the casket.”
With funeral homes serving the towns and cities of Salem, Danvers, Beverly, Peabody, Hamilton, Wenham, Topsfield, Boxford and Middleton, O’Donnell Funeral and Cremation Service have gained a reputation with generations of local families for conducting business with grace and dignity, and providing compassionate and caring services.