Disclaimer – The names and locations used in this story have been changed to protect the identity of the funeral home worker who came forward.
Diverge Media – spoke with an American funeral home worker who had many concerns about the current narrative surrounding COVID. This article highlights the various issues that she has encountered while on her job that she felt needed to be told to the public.
What’s your position?
Funeral Worker – “I work with the public for cemetery and funeral arrangements. I see families start to finish and deal with executors ect.”
Diverge Media – “So you’re at the ceremonies and services right?”
Funeral Worker – “Yes at the services and burials.”
Has Covid been a prominent issue?
Funeral worker – “It hasn’t been such a prominent issue. No one is dying of COVID. There are people that had like asthmatics, or that had pre-conditions – health conditions. COVID is not the cause of death. I feel somehow they’re being financially rewarded, whether it be the hospitals or doctors diagnosing saying this is a COVID death. You don’t die of COVID you die with COVID.”
“People that have cancer are afraid to go for their regular doctor appointments. I know people that are afraid to go into hospitals because of the fear. To the point that they will deal with an illness longer than they should’ve to the point where they’re seeing irreversible damage because of the fear of COVID. People are stressed and unhealthy due to the fear aspect that the government and the powers that be are pushing. They want you to be fearful so your malleable.”
What are some stories that stick out to you – you mentioned your seeing more suicides now
Funeral Worker – “Yes, suicides are up because people are depressed. With everything happening not being able to gather with their families and not being able to see their loved ones in their homes. I’ve met people who are so stressed out that they’re afraid to network or see any of their family or friends because they’re a primary caregiver for their loved one who’s in a home, and if they by chance got COVID or tested for it and came up positive they’re not allowed to step foot in the retirement homes.”
“I’ve seen it where people are not wanting to, or are afraid that they’re going to kill a loved one who’s on their death bed if they by chance had that virus. So people aren’t seeing their loved ones in their final stages of life because they have to choose between employment and potentially coming in contact with the virus and or seeing their loved one. They have to choose between being employed and seeing a loved one.”
Have you been seeing more suicides?
Diverge Media – “You’ve been in your position for over 5 years now – have you been seeing more suicides in comparison to other years?”
Funeral worker – “November historically is the highest suicide month, and yea we are seeing higher numbers than normal in just the last while. I think it’s the seclusion and segregation. They’re putting us all in our little pockets and bubbles and here are some garbage things to watch, and people are eating garbage food. I’ve noticed a lot of people walking around with a few extra pounds. Alcohol consumption is way up right now. This leads to depression and leads to suicide. Most of the time when people kill themselves they’re not thinking clearly. And I also think people financially are wondering how the F**k do I get out of this? People are realizing our debt is skyrocketing and so will our taxes soon.”
How has it been affecting family’s ability to grieve with these COVID policies?
Funeral worker – “Standing at the grave while someone’s burring their loved one, and watching families struggle because they’re not allowed to hug, they’re not supposed to shake hands or greet their family or friends etc. It’s that lack of compassion from touch. Touch is so important – the handshake, the shoulder squeeze, the pat on the back, a hug. That is being ripped away from people and I think that is affecting people’s ability to grieve – to go through the grieving and mourning process.”
“I saw at a service where two cousins – I heard them talking. They were from far away, and I heard them talking socially distanced and they couldn’t hug or shake hands or touch and they’re looking at each other with a mask. People don’t want to cry because they don’t want to touch their eyes because of the fear.”
Diverge Media – “So if you have a company phone they made them download the app?”
Funeral Worker – “Yes they didn’t have a choice – it was just put on their phones. They are telling the rest of the staff to download the app to “protect others”. The issue is we all work close to each other and all it takes is someone testing positive or even false positive and you’ll be told you can’t work for 2 weeks. We make commission so we can’t afford to miss 2 weeks. Our whole office could be wiped out by someone coming in with COVID and having the app and pinging off our phones for a false read – even our administrators. Our bottom dollars and our finances are what’s impacted. We can do online but not everyone is tech-savvy.”
Diverge Media – “It’s a relationship business so that interaction is important isn’t it?”
Funeral worker – “Oh yea, like they’re going to spend 10,000 dollars with me and not see me in person. Here’s 10 grand – do you want to give me your credit card info in an email?”
Diverge Media – “Something to be said about looking someone in the eyes isn’t there?
Funeral worker – “Yea, or being in front of them and your personal and everything is different when you’re using the internet – doing a conference call.”
What’s different in people’s behaviour?
Funeral worker – “The lack of ability for people to grieve. People wearing their masks outside, people afraid to come up and say hi to their aunt or uncle. The lack of empathy – how can you be empathetic with half your face covered and the ability to talk clearly. Their eyes are running, their nose is running, they’re sad – constant fear and sanitation. People are focused on the I don’t want to get the virus, I don’t want to touch anybody. I want to make sure everything is fine instead of dealing with the issue at hand.”
Diverge Media – “Are people so adamant about following the protocol that they aren’t grieving?“
Funeral worker – “Yes, exactly. That’s exactly it. They’re so afraid that they’re not even focusing on what’s at hand – the issues.”
Why did you feel you had to come forward and talk about all of this?
“The emotional aspect of it is that families don’t have the ability to grieve as they historically have done. Covid has changed the grieving process for families where they can’t have a reception. The emotional neglect that’s happening from families that would normally be provided at a funeral service is not the same. People are doing graveside services where you just stand outside at the grave and everyone is standing outside with masks on. Not being able to touch a loved one, shake a hand, you know give a hug – that is the emotional side I feel people are lacking in the grieving process.”
They also talked about how Facebook funerals have become a thing during COVID. Although it’s not bad to be able to live-stream a funeral for those who are unable to attend in person – this is being used because people are being told they can’t attend. For example, people from retirement homes and “at-risk” from the virus would now watch it there.
Help share this story out – we must be able to properly grieve. This is a fundamental part of the human experience.
Diverge Media is an independent media company dedicated to bringing you the stories that matter. If you like our work and would like to support us – please do so through the donation form below. Thanks for reading – The Diverge team.
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