How Would You — And Your Community Cope

There is no doubt that we all agree that what happened in that small Texas town last Sunday was a great tragedy beyond proportions.  It should never have happened — but it did.

From where I sit, in Minnesota, over 1000 miles away from the village of Sutherland Springs, Texas, it seems so distant — yet I grieve and pray for the community and for those who must deal with the immediate aftermath.  While not to the extent that it happened last Sunday I’ve been in that situation where I, as a funeral director, was the one dealing with the aftermath.  I can think of about three or four times in my 35 year career where we had multiple fatalities — 3 or 4 people — as a result of auto accidents.  From my remembrance, you just shift into high gear and do what has to be done for the next several days.

So, my heart and prayers are with the funeral home personnel, cemetery personnel, clergy, and all of the other workers in Sutherland Springs who must continue to go about their daily duties – not only in a monumental way for the next couple of weeks — but with the eyes of a nation watching them.

Simon Romero penned a great article for the New York Times you can read here about just this situation in yesterday’s edition.  He explains that the local funeral home is trying to borrow hearses from Dallas, that the district attorney is trying to help with compensation funds for crime victims, that a local resident is donating all of the burial vaults needed.  And at the cemetery, where Baptists have been buried alongside Roman Catholics, and ranchers have been buried along hired hands  since 1850, they are busy readying a potential 26 grave spaces in the next two weeks with a staff that generally handles 15 graves per year.

You see, I’m also confident that these people who are in the background, but yet are counted on so much, will get the task performed.  They will do so, because they are part of our industry where service above self is still the motto.  They will get the job done, not only satisfactorily, but with great dignity and reverence.  They won’t rest — but in a couple of weeks they will look back and realize that the healing that will have started could not have been done without them.

It’s just one reason why I’ve been so lucky to have been a part of this profession.

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