Eagle flower shop inundated with requests for funeral arrangements amid Idaho’s latest COVID-19 wave
“The other day, from 7 a.m. until about 1 p.m., every call was a funeral and every visit was a funeral,” the owner told KTVB.
EAGLE, Idaho – When the phone rings in the flower shop, it usually means one thing: some life event has happened.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Hope Blooms has seen an increase in the number of people wanting to send flowers for one reason or another.
“We’re in the business of emotions. We sell emotions. We help people express their emotions with flowers. That’s what we do, we get the good and bad stories. We understand them all,” he said. declared store owner Dorothy Miller at 208.
Over the past few weeks, however, Miller said calls in the store missed the usual balance of happy and sad events.
“The other day, from 7 a.m. until about 1 p.m., every call was a funeral and every visit was a funeral,” she said.
Managing floral arrangements for funerals isn’t new to this team, but Miller said the recent surge of COVID-19 has changed the volume and types of calls they receive. Increasingly, the team is listening to tragic stories about deaths from COVID-19 in the community.
“In the past two weeks I have brought in two sisters and they both have – one lives in another state and the other here – they both lost their husbands within a week,” said himself. Miller recalls. “And it was difficult. A sister is now trying to support the other sister.”
The emotions felt by the team here among grieving clients are also changing.
“Usually people come in and they’re sad or they’re upset, but in the last couple of weeks people have come in and they’re angry. They’re just angry with the whole process and everything that is going on and they are just having a hard time figuring out: “My husband was coughing three days ago and now he’s gone,” “Miller told 208.
Miller said that for some reason the emotions of all of this hit people when they are in the store.
“A lot of times they come here and they just cry,” she said. “We just let them sit and cry for as long as they need to. We are certainly not grief counselors, but we listen. It is difficult.”
It’s difficult in a different way than it was before COVID-19.
“Usually we’re able to really compartmentalize. You know, here’s a happy birthday call, a happy birthday call, then a funeral. Normally we’re able to put that in its place and deal with each one individually,” Miller added.
However, stories and emotions add up over the course of a day or a week. The staff here truly learn about the lives of lost people and the impact that loss has on family and friends.
“We get sad later. We have to get sad later, but it affects every person here every time they take a phone call. It’s hard,” Miller said.