Covid 19 and the UNEXPECTED Problems of Burial

I saw a bumper sticker on a car near Houston. It stated, “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I can.”

As a New York native, I can only agree with the sentiment of that bumper sticker, and though Texas has its challenges, it’s clear that the quality of leadership directly impacts the quality of life.

An email from an old an dear friend made me realize how blessed this 81-year old is that he wasn’t stuck in a nursing home in New York during the Pandemic, a nursing home for which the New York governor had responsibility.

My friend has been officiating over funerals in a small town in central New York. Here are his words:

All these people providentially went to their eternal reward during the winter.  Now remember that this is NY State.  We have LOTS of snow during the winter.  Cemeteries are CLOSED until the robins show up – usually not until May????

THIS YEAR, for example, one of the area funeral homes – mind you, small towns USA – had 80 deaths in November, with 40 of them from one nursing home (all 40 Covid-19 related!).  Then, December, January, February he had another 100 deaths.  He normally stores the “caskets” in the cemeteries’ vaults.  But by January they were FULL!  So, brace yourself, a local Catholic Church volunteered its “fellowship hall” to have the caskets stored in.  Can you imagine?

Keep in mind that many who died were cremated, and did not pose a “storage problem” to funeral homes. He went on:

I am thankful that it does give an opportunity to share the Good News to hearts that need true comfort.  Did you know that Psalm 23 makes no sense UNLESS you know the Good Shepherd as your Savior?

So throughout this month, I’ve had the joy (not you, sorry) of spending much time with families whose loved ones passed away during the winter.  And fortunately, some had professed faith in the Savior, but sadly most haven’t.  So the true comfort, true ministry, comes for those who remain.  [And they never tell me ahead of time:  “oh my mom Mable is dying – would you go visit her BEFORE she dies?”].  

So, we get a picture of the sorrow being experienced across America, including Texas, but especially New York State.

God grant that unbelievers will seek the Lord while it is yet day, for the night cometh when no man may work.