BENTON, Ark. — While many families have lost loved ones during the COVID-19 crisis, most haven’t had the chance to have a proper service for them.
Jeff Smith, owner of Smith Family Funeral Home, wants to help these families who are suffering.
"I've never seen anything like this. Of course, none of us have,” said Smith.
Smith has worked in the funeral business for years. He's seen many families walk through his doors in much grief, but nothing like tears the coronavirus has caused.
"They couldn't even be there in the hospital when their loved one passed away,” said Smith. “And then when it comes time for the service, they are limited on what they can do.”
Before Arkansas moved on to Phase 2 in reopening the state, funeral homes were only allowed 10 people at a service, which was difficult on many families.
This led Smith to decide to help families who've lost loved ones during the COVID-19 crisis by arranging proper funerals for those who didn't get one.
"They have this feeling of, 'This is incomplete. I understand, I had my loved one cremated, but I didn't get to have a funeral. I just don't feel complete.' So, for those families, they can still come to us. We are offering this to all of our communities,” said Smith.
Smith said his company has also gotten creative to help families remember their loved ones during these uncertain times.
"We are doing 'Send a Hug,' and the way it works is we are putting a link in the obituaries that someone can click on and they can upload a personal condolence to the family,” said Smith. “We put all those together in a video and then give it to the family.”
Smith hopes by offering a little love to families who are hurting, that'll bring relief they’re searching for.
"This isn't about trying to make more money. This is about helping more people who are hurting, who feel stuck,” said Smith.
For more information on how you can get help, contact Smith Family Funeral Home in North Little Rock.