Things seem to come and go faster now. Whether they’re relationships, marriages, jobs, or companies. Today nothing seems to be in it for the long haul.

So when a place makes it to a few years shy of a century, that’s impressive.

A famous New Jersey funeral home that has been helping grieving families say goodbye for 93 years is now saying goodbye itself.

The McLaughlin Funeral Home is closing its doors for good at the end of the year. For almost a century it has stood in Jersey City. In Journal Square on Pavonia Avenue, it is now surrounded by gigantic high-rises. It’s been there since the mid-1960s.

Previous locations were on Jersey Avenue in 1937, and before that near Sacred Heart Church at 215 Jackson and originally at 174 Jackson Avenue which is now Martin Luther King Drive.

That’s a lot of history. That’s a lot of families, a lot of pain, love, and a lot of farewells.

Husband and Wife Funeral Farewell
Christian Vuong

Maryellen McLaughlin now runs the funeral home which was started in 1930 by her grandfather. The business stayed in the family the entire time.

It sounds like she was in it for all the right reasons.

I am deeply grateful to the Jersey City community for their unwavering support and entrusting my family’s business with the responsibility of honoring their loved ones,” she told

“Being compassionate drives me to want perfection in making sure the family feels that they have honored their loved one in the manner they have deserved."

Google Maps
Google Maps

So why is she closing down?

It’s quite a sad reason really.

While the stress of construction and development in the area didn’t help, a major reason was the toll the pandemic took. Not on finances, but on spirit.

There were so many dead, so many funerals. Remember over a million people died from COVID-19 and its complications. Almost twice as many as from Spanish flu.

Funeral with coffin in hearse

The work was constant. The grief was palpable.

“We were working very long days, weeks and months without reprieve. I am not going to sugarcoat the fact that working non-stop during the pandemic took a physical and emotional toll on me. It was then for the first time I thought about retirement,” McLaughlin explained.

Also, for someone who prided herself on making people feel cared for during their grief, she was helpless to allow them to grieve properly by gathering with their loved ones to say a true goodbye thanks to orders and mandates from Gov. Murphy.

We were inundated in funeral service and often the emotional toll of just experiencing the pain of the loss the family was facing without being able to mourn with their community was heart-wrenching.

She did what she could. Now she’s doing what she has to do. A chapter is closing on the Jersey City history books. Closing for one of the saddest reasons I can think of.

RIP McLaughlin Funeral Home.

Candlelight - Isolated on Black Background - 3 Candles

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