Family adjusts under the toughest circumstance
SONS across Australia like Cecil Pelling who have lost their mothers recently have had to scramble to accommodate the latest laws on funeral attendance.
Having already planned to have his mother's funeral, Ethel Scantlebury, in the 'bullring' at Theodore, he had to tell almost all her friends and family they could no longer say goodbye in person.
The PM's announcement to restrict people allowed to attend funerals to 10 on March 24 forced Mr Pelling to drastically change the funeral plans.
"My mum had been around here all her life and our family has been here a long time," Mr Pelling said.
"There would've been a lot of people who would've loved to have come but that was all we could do.
"It was very difficult to tell people they couldn't come, especially members of the family."
The majority of Mrs Scantlebury's family and friends were able to say goodbye with the next best option, a livestream of the funeral performed by Callide Dawson Funerals.
Mrs Scantlebury passed away on March 28 peacefully at 86 years of age.
The gravesite service was held at the Theodore Cemetery Wednesday and those in attendance included Mrs Scantlebury's children, her husband, sister and some grandchildren to make up the allotted amount of 10.
"The family viewed the livestream and they were happy with the idea as they watched on their computers," Mr Pelling said.
"Ethel was a great mum and a wonderful person.
"She was very sweet and didn't worry any other people.
"She worked hard from 13 years of age through to 75 also raising three kids."
Margaret Fisher from Callide Dawson Funerals said it has been a steep learning curve for not only her staff but also the families who have lost a loved one.
"It's difficult for the families already and being told you can have 10 people at a service is another thing they have to work out and see who they can have," Mrs Fisher said.
"Who do you say yes to and who do you say no to?
"Funerals have to go ahead regardless of how many people can attend, you can't keep somebody indefinitely and wait till this is over."
Granddaughter Emily Pelling said that families need to prepare themselves to follow the government's laws on funeral attendance, no matter how emotional it can be.
"At funerals there are generally quite a few elderly people so be mindful of that and the people who are serving the funeral," Miss Pelling said.
"Even though funerals are a time for grieving, at the end of the day we have to do what we can to make sure everyone's health is looked after.
"There's always a chance for a big community memorial and large family memorials later on, what we can because we can still remember them later on."