Even if you try to avoid it nowadays, it is hard not to notice the violence that is happening in America’s major cities. It seems like every day or every week we hear some type of story of violence in one of those cities.
Frank Savory is an experienced funeral director in Kansas City, Missouri, who knows it well. As you can see in this story and news video from KCTV 5, he is tired of it. Savory buried his own father, murdered in 1998, and has been taking care of Kansas City’s violence victims ever since.
The article points out that every case that the funeral home gets has a story behind it and some are more tragic than others. It continues and says, “Lately, the stories are of young homicide victims.”
Savory says, “I’m going to be honest, it’s close, it seems like the last four years we’ve been pretty much neck and neck with natural deaths and homicides, man.” He is frustrated and continues, “We would rather close our doors versus seeing our young men and women lose their lives continuously here in KC.”
The news video points out that in the very recent days, Kansas City continues to be plagued by violence.
Funeral Director Daily take: I worked as a front line funeral director in a family owned firm for 33 years. My heart and my admiration goes out to a colleague like Frank Savory. I don’t know Frank at all, but I do know that being the person that walks a family through a tragic death is emotionally draining on that funeral professional. Kudos to Frank for being there when needed in his community.
My community is somewhat insulated from the goings on of the big metro areas, but it doesn’t mean that we didn’t have our tragedies too. Automobile accidents, farm accidents, children dying. . . we had them all.
I would get a call from one of my fellow workers at our funeral home informing me of a accidental death. That was bad enough, but then I would hear something like this, “The family is wondering if you would personally make arrangements with them?”
When I heard that I would virtually sink in my chair as I knew that the next week would be absolutely emotionally draining on me – and most of my commitments with my own family would be suspended. But, I also believed in my ability and that “nobody would take care of that family in need better than I could.” It was that thought, and the prayers of many people, that got me through those times. And it is now those times, as a retired funeral director, that I think back to as my best memories of being a funeral director.
Just this week a neighbor of mine met a person and mentioned he lived by me. And that person responded by saying, “We had a son killed in an automobile accident. We don’t know what we would have done without Tom helping us out.”
But also this week, funeral directors in El Paso and Dayton are being emotionally drained. It is a part of our caring profession that many people don’t see — and probably don’t understand. Make sure that you include our colleagues in those cities in your prayers as they work to make sure the needs of those families they are serving get taken care of.
So, Frank Savory — I also hope the violence in Kansas City stops. But in the meantime don’t quit doing what you are doing — because it does make a difference to the families you are serving.
Update on Easton Cemetery merger — Last week we told you that two cemeteries in Easton, Pennsylvania, were contemplating a merger for financial reasons. You can read an update in this article on the decision to move forward with that merger.