Murfreesboro Funeral Home offers drive-thru viewings during COVID-19 lockdown

Drive Thru Funeral Viewing
Posted at 8:38 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 23:54:24-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Murfreesboro funeral home is offering drive-thru viewings as an alternative for traditional services, which are limited because of COVID-19.

"They’ll come through the entrance and view the remains and then go around the building and come back out the other side," Hellum Funeral Home Owner Wendy Hellum said. "Staff are out there writing their names down, so they don't have to get out of the car or have any physical cantact."

The casket sits in a window on the side of the Hellum Funeral Home's building. Wendy Hellum said it has been there since the funeral home was rebuilt in 1980, but she never knew why it was put in.

"My father did that, i don't know, I cant answer that," Wendy Hellum said. "I'm the only one in this city [that has a drive-thru window]."

Even though Hellum Funeral Home has offered drive-thru services for years, Hellum said people rarely used the window.

"Hardly ever, hardly ever. Now I'm using it every time we have a service," Hellum said.

For some services, 50 cars go into the drive thru, more than five times the amount of people that would be allowed inside a traditional viewing under Tennessee's current stay-at-home order.

"We could still have them, but it's just so limited, only 10 people," Hellum said. "I think this is better where people can come through as many times as they want."

As the state works to reopen and set new guidelines, Hellum says the funeral home will adjust.

"If they want to come here they can still come inside, if they do the drive thru it will still be available," she said. "This is a way to say their goodbyes and to have some type of normalcy."

Hellum said that any family that has a drive-thru viewing because of COVID-19 restrictions will be able to have a traditional service at a later date, free of charge.