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Chubbuck funeral home offers ‘walk-by viewing’ during pandemic

CHUBBUCK – The novel coronavirus pandemic is changing every aspect of our daily lives, including how we say goodbye to our loved ones.
Kimberly Timothy attended the viewing for her uncle Wayne Messenger on Thursday evening, but it was a little different from what they originally planned.
She says, “We came in about three months ago, myself and my uncle Wayne, and started planning his funeral. Now at that time, the COVID-19 was not a big thing; so, we actually planned on having everything inside.”
Then Gov. Little announced his stay-at-home order.
“He actually specifically mentions in there that funerals cannot be held inside, but they can be held outside,” Wilks Funeral Home Director Brock Wilks says.
So Wilks Funeral Home went to Timothy with an idea: a “walk-by viewing” held outside.
“They said, ‘How about we do this for you?’ And I think that was such neat thing for him to offer,” Timothy says.
It was perfect for a family with more than 250 members.
“A lot of them (family members) were worried at first because they said, ‘How are we going to see him?’” she says.
The walk-by viewing was held at the back of the funeral home. Messenger was inside near a large window, which allowed the family “to pay their last respects without going against any of the orders, or being able to maintain safe distances,” says Wilks.
Timothy says her uncle wanted a viewing because “he loved to be looked at.” So even though this viewing was different from the original plan, it still honors Messenger’s wish to have one.
And for her Vietnam veteran uncle, there is one thing Timothy and her family can’t give him quite yet because of the pandemic.
“A 21-gun salute,” Timothy’s husband, Michael, says. “You can’t even have that.”
“We’re planning on doing something a little later with the family when this all blows over,” she says.
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This article first appeared on KPVI. It is used with permission.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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