As COVID-19 claims the lives of many of the elderly in Michigan and around the world, funeral homes are being forced to put new rules in place to appropriately respond to the crisis.
Paddy Lynch, third generation owner and operator of Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, recently joined Mike and Kevin Dietz on Open Mike to give an exclusive look into what funeral homes and the families of the recently deceased are experiencing as they carry out funeral services and mourn their loved ones with recent COVID-19 guidelines in place. Lynch also shares his thoughts on pre-paid vs pre-planned funerals and talks about his family’s crazy connection to the show Six Feet Under!
[00:44] Introducing today’s guest Paddy Lynch
[01:51] What is happening right now in the funeral system?
[02:11] Things are changing on a daily basis
[02:29] Ten people or less in funeral home to say their quick goodbyes
[03:12] Our whole lives have been devoted to creating ceremonies to help people through their grief, “It’s heartbreaking”
[04:31] “Joy shared is joy increased and grief shared is grief diminished”
[06:20] We’re seeing a lot of fatalities in Detroit
[07:23] Small and large funeral firms have different challenges
[08:40] We’re understaffed and busier than ever
[09:30] Metro Detroit is lucky to have so many family-owned funeral homes who are handling this beautifully
[10:16] Are cemeteries running out of space in New York?
[10:53] With the volume, embalming all of these bodies and keeping them in facilities id difficult
[12:20] You can only cremate so many people individually in a day
[12:50] “Most Jewish folks are not embalmed”
[13:15] Some funeral homes have stopped embalming
[14:48] How do you protect your workers during the pandemic?
[15:38] “It can certainly live in the lungs of someone who has died from COVID”
[16:17] “The most dignified and decent thing to do is to get these people buried and cremated relatively quickly”
[17:25] “We’re definitely on the frontlines”
[18:45] What is the percentage increase of deaths we are seeing in Michigan?
[20:32] Families can no longer visit, and elderly loved ones are more susceptible to death
[23:21] Cremation and burial have different standards in the courts
[25:35] Are you seeing more people wanting preplanned or prefunded funerals?
[28:00] “Six Feet Under” and the Lynch family
[30:00] How does the culture think about dead bodies?
[31:17] “The presence of the dead is really critical to the health of a society”
[33:38] The dead don’t care, but the dead matter
[35:14] Concluding remarks