A COVID Funeral 

     My uncle lived with my mother and my grandmother. My mother is, well was, his primary caretaker for over 10 years, ever since being diagnosed with a disease that made him a high risk for COVID. My mother called me informing me that my uncle was en route to the hospital, and a few days later I get a call that he had passed on April 8th. April was one of the biggest spikes in COVID deaths since it started, and where we started to see how Brown and Black folks were making up most, if not all, of that number. 

 

      I accompanied my mother and aunt, who had just finished recovering from COVID, to the hospital to figure out the next steps.  We waited in the lobby of the hospital, explicitly told that we are not allowed to see the body. Then hospital staff handed us a bag of his belongings and dismissed us from the hospital building.  

 

      My family did not get to grieve properly, is there such a thing? After the hospital, we visited about four funeral homes and called about five. Funeral homes were overwhelmed to the point they could not handle the number of bodies. Finally, we found one funeral home that overcharged my mother for a casket we did not choose, only allowed six people at the funeral, with a casket that remained closed, and a misspelled name in his memorial card. We were not allowed to see his body be placed in the ground, only able to watch from a distance. These photos are from that day. 

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