Funeral Director Helps Families Process Their Grief

Few cities have been harder hit by COVID-19 than New York, New York – where overwhelmed funeral staff had to help a city grieve.

For Chris Kasler, a member of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Brooklyn, and a local funeral home director at Sherman’s Flatbush Memorial Chapel, he is in the business of helping families cope and begin the road to wholeness.

Remarking on his experiences in 2020, Kassler said, “Average funeral homes do around 200 funerals a year; we’re at about 1,400.”

“We had 402 COVID funerals in six weeks. I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d see anything like this,” added Kassler at the height of the pandemic.

So inundated with bodies last spring, Sherman’s had to temporarily store bodies in wooden boxes on the pews in their chapel. An experience that overwhelmed many staffers.

“You’re dealing with people during an extremely emotional time, and a lot of the deaths are unexpected,” Kasler said. “A lot of them aren’t people who are sick. They’re old, but people expect to be with their parents for another 10 years, and then comes the virus and that’s all gone.”

For Kasler, being able to help families through their bereavement is not only the highlight of his day, but also what he believes is his call from God. Leaning into this faith during the pandemic Kassler said, “I know that I’ve made a difficult time easier for people, but this is one time that it was harder on me personally because I couldn’t make it easier for people. My faith goes much, much deeper than my skin, which is probably why I’m still doing what I do. It’s rough.”

To Kassler and all funeral home staff, thank you!

Source: Living Lutheran