thoughts: about mortality, faith, dying alone in times like today’s

The Washington Post: “Now is a time where people actually need to have the discipline of keeping in regular contact.” Norman J. Williams, the long-time director of Unity Funeral Parlors in Chicago.

“The coronavirus has changed so much about our lives. It has also changed how we deal with death.

“Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have essentially brought an end to large funerals and memorials where people can share their grief. A brief hug to comfort a mourner is potentially lethal.”

“‘Let Us Stay In Touch With Those That We Love.’ A Funeral Director’s Lessons For Life.”NPR

pandemic deathRita Ghai stood with her daughter Samta in the doorway of their Pittsfield home.”ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF

by Zoe Greenberg, Liz Kowalczyk and Mark Arsenault 

“A pandemic that ruptures familiar rituals around dying and death | ‘All any of us wanted to do was hold his hand,’ said a woman whose father died alone in a hospital.”  The Boston Globe

funerals“An employee at a funeral logistics center near Paris carries a coffin for a covid-19 victim on Monday.” (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

by Char Barrett, a funeral director and the owner of A Sacred Moment funeral services in Everett, Wash.

A large family in the area had long planned to honor their beloved, ailing patriarch with an elaborate funeral at their church, followed by a graveside service and a meal. Even before he died, we had this gentleman’s clothing hanging in the back room of our funeral home, ready for the day they’d put him to rest.

“That was before the pandemic.

“When he died on March 15, I had to tell the family that they couldn’t have a funeral at all. They were devastated.” Continue reading.

 “The United States is about to endure a collective trauma unlike anything in recent memory.”

quarter million fasualtiesADIMAS – STOCK.ADOBE.COM

“President Trump, long a coronavirus skeptic, stood before a room of White House reporters Tuesday afternoon and offered sobering new message.

“’I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,’ he said. ‘We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.’

The United States government was projecting that the new coronavirus will kill 100,000 to 240,000 Americans. Many of them, it seems, could die in the coming month. And epidemiologists warn that the eventual total could be substantially higher — maybe 400,000 or 500,000.” – The Boston Globe


mass in pandemic“A Mass is live-streamed from an empty St. Augustine Church & Catholic Student Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on March 29.” (Lynne Sladky/AP)

by R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Kelly J. Shackelford 

Perhaps the question most asked of either of us lately — whether as a theologian or a religious liberty attorney — is whether religious liberty is imperiled by government officials responding responsibly to the threat of the covid-19 pandemic. We do not think so.

“Americans treasure not only the ‘free exercise’ of religion but also the “right of the people peaceably to assemble” as articulated in the First Amendment and practiced with minimal interruption since our nation’s founding. When asked to curtail any part of it — even temporarily — Americans’ skepticism reveals just how treasured religious freedom remains and the enduring vigilance with which they maintain it.

“Most people are willing to tolerate temporary restrictions on even our most treasured liberties if it means demonstrating love for neighbor in a time of crisis. Of course, the key to that tolerance is that the restrictions be both temporary and necessary.” – The Washington Post

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