I’m Afraid that People Will Get Used to Not Honoring The Dead

Credit: Ryan Garza / Detroit Free Press / Zuma Press
By Esquire

Credit: Ryan Garza / Detroit Free Press / Zuma Press
The coronavirus pandemic has changed everyday life beyond recognition. It will shape our lives for years to come, mostly in ways that are impossible to predict or even understand. Esquire asked twenty people to share their experiences in the early months of the outbreak. Each of their ego accounts is a confirmation that none of us see this alone. The full list can be found here.
Funeral directors are community members. We have always been like this, especially in the African American community. I always say the leaders in the community are the doctor, the lawyer, the minister and the undertaker.
It now seems so impersonal that we cannot see, touch, hug. We cannot even have a service. If we do that, there are only ten people and they have to sit separately. You know, I'm afraid if people get used to it and their loved one dies, they'll say, "Oh, just burn them and we'll call you later." I tell families: whether in your garden, at the bar or in the funeral home - everywhere - celebrate your life in any way.
African Americans form:
14 percent of the population of Michigan
41 percent of coronavirus deaths

At the moment the political environment we have - we against them, and it happens to them so that it doesn't happen to us - has to change. I mean all over the world. I'm not trying to be profound here. I'm just trying to be real. My problems are your problems; Your problems are my problems, especially when it comes to communicable diseases.

There was a big protest yesterday in Lansing against Governor Whitmer by people who said she had deprived them of their liberties. "Don't step on me" and such a thing. You have no idea of ​​my church, our life in the city. They only know: "I live out here for five acres and cannot mow it. You step on my freedom!" Meanwhile, our people are dying because they have no choice. There can be ten members in one house. How can you tell someone to isolate themselves when there are multiple family members in one house?

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
We have to talk to each other instead of being so separate, but that's the political environment we're in. We don't even know our own neighbor so we can't tell if he or she is sick. Or you have never noticed that you are not away. I think we have to come back to that. If we know our neighbor, much more lives will be saved.
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