Memo: Forget The Funeral - Signed, The C Hyattsville
Memo: Forget The Funeral - Signed, The Coronavirus
FTF? What?! (FTF? or Forget The Funeral? will be the alternate to the infamous Millennial catch phrase WTF? which will not be spelled out herein for decorum's sake.)
It was just learned today during our telephone-based worship session that Maryland truly has banned ALL gatherings of more than 10 people - including burials.
The news was abruptly announced by one of our congregation after her prayer request for a friend suffering in critical condition with COVID-19. Then a second notification came in rapid fire from another church member. Among us is a 30 year old mother of 3 young children who is waiting anxiously for her husband to come through his own life-threating COVID-19 infection. It's all finally hitting home.
The moratorium on funerals, which seems like a sick joke as well as a bad pun, was confirmed on the Maryland.gov site:
PER THE GUIDANCE OF GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN; PROHIBITION ON MASS GATHERINGS AND CLOSURE OF SENIOR CENTERS:
Effective immediately, the Governor has ordered that gatherings of more than 10 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings, are prohibited at all locations and venues. See full order:
The particular ceremony we're discussing is not one that we want to have. However, some have been planning theirs for years. And last time I checked, there were no opportunities for a do-over of said event.
The Dearly Departed's last public appearance will be absolutely the last time that family and friends get to see them. Not all opt for a traditional service with an open casket - but it should and must be available to those that do. It's a very longstanding and sacred rite / right.
Yes. Obviously it becomes clearer to me that the virus poses more of a problem than we can take casually. But, if we're allowed to go to the store, with 50 or 100 mad shoppers scurrying around to get the last of the toilet paper... we should be able to gather with 20, 30 or 40 loved ones to say goodbye to one more.