Covid and parental death

At Funeral Director Daily we cover a lot of topics.  Many, or even most of our articles, deal with the financial operation of a business to help those in the business of death care make the choices they need to make as they move forward.  We also publish articles about the preneed industry and articles about public companies in the space. . . .as well as new ideas and start-ups that many of our readers are interested in learning about.

However, the financial health of a death care business can also be positively impacted by the level of service you give to those families who call on you to serve them.  And, you don’t ever want to miss the chance of being a positive influence simply for the sake of making a better world for someone who shares it with us.  I think of Aftercare and what funeral homes have done to positively impact many whose spouses who have died and left widows and widowers behind.  Our funeral home’s aftercare program is very busy and I know that it has improved the lives of many who take part.

But, what are we doing for children who have had a parent die?  Are you aware, according to this article from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that for every four Covid-19 deaths in the United States, that there is one child under the age of 18 who losses a parent or other adult caregiver as a result of that death?

Here’s what Susan Hillis, a CDC researcher and lead author of a study on the topic says, “Children facing orphanhood as a result of COVID is a hidden, global pandemic that has sadly not spared the United States.  All of us – especially our children – will feel the serious immediate and long-term impact of this problem for generations to come. Addressing the loss that these children have experienced – and continue to experience – must be one of our top priorities, and it must be woven into all aspects of our emergency response, both now and in the post-pandemic future.”

According to the article, “Children’s lives are permanently changed by the loss of a mother, father, or grandparent who provided their homes, basic needs, and care. Loss of a parent is among the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) linked to mental health problems; shorter schooling; lower self-esteem; sexual risk behaviors; and increased risk of substance abuse, suicide, violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation.”

Again, according to the article, over 140,000 children in the United States have lost a parent or adult caregiver as a result of Covid-19 as of June 30, 2021.

The article also points out that, “The death of a parental figure is an enormous loss that can reshape a child’s life. We must work to ensure that all children have access to evidence-based prevention interventions that can help them navigate this trauma, to support their future mental health and wellbeing,” 

Funeral Director Daily take:  As a funeral director there were a lot of “tough” funerals that I worked through. Yes, there were all the automobile accidents that extinguished the lives of many young teen-agers that had wonderful futures that they, and their parents, never got to realize.  Those were tough on me. . . . but equally as tough were the funerals of young adults — leaving children who now realized that they lived in a world that would not include one of their parents. . . many young boys lost a future baseball coach and many young ladies lost that dream of Dad walking them down the aisle.

Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

Sometimes as a funeral director you just had to realize that bad things sometimes happened to good people.  Simply realizing that, however, does not give us an excuse for not going to the Nth degree in helping these families. . . .many times weeks and months after the funeral.

It’s hard to understand what is going on in a child’s mind.  However, we have to stay nimble and we have to listen to ways in which our profession can help these children.  We need to be there for them. . . regardless of what it takes.

While it has been difficult with the situation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing issues we have to be on alert for the children and make sure that their parents know where help can be found.

Today’s article again gives no real answers. . . . but it is one of those “awareness” articles that may help someone when needed.  And, being able to help a person is almost always better than getting all the answers.

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