Drive-through viewing at funeral home for loved ones to pay their respects

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PALMYRA, Pa. (WHTM) – The coronavirus has changed our everyday way of life, including the way we say goodbye to our loved ones in death. A local funeral home has made the goodbye safer amidst this pandemic.

Rothermel-Finkenbinder Funeral Home in Palmyra held its first drive-through viewing Tuesday, something it plans to continue to do.

A long life lived and honored. Family and friends of Sara Lehman, 93, paid their respects in an unconventional, but necessary way.

“We’re trying to provide creative means to be socially responsible, at the same time exceeding the expectations and wants of families,” said Travis Finkenbinder, President and Owner of Finkenbinder Family Funeral Homes.

That took the form of a drive-through viewing.

“Outside the individual family units are staying together. Other guests, extended family and friends, are staying in their car. They’re behind a 7 foot barrier,” said Finkenbinder.

They’re asked to keep their windows cracked and wear masks. Other local families have already reached out to the funeral home for the same type of viewing.

“The grieving process is a unique animal. The first step of grief is denial. Being able to physically see the body, either in casket embalmed in a public viewing, or just a private ID viewing with family is critically important to getting over that first step,” said Finkenbinder.

The funeral home also live streams and creates videos for families as well.

“As long as we’re doing things in a safe way, as long as we’re following standards that are set forth and everyone is cared for, we’re going to be okay,” said Finkenbinder.

The funeral home is not holding any funeral or memorial services right now. Families are asked to plan those for a later date.

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