Funeral Services for Children Can be Especially Emotionally Taxing for Funeral Homes
The five lives lost in in the fire this weekend will be remembered by many, including those charged with ensuring their bodies make it to their final resting place.
"Death is always difficult, it's an emotional time, whether its young or old but a child dying is not natural, and it affects all of us," Karen Burton-Horstman the Vice President of Burton Funeral Homes and Crematory said.
Burton is the funeral home taking care of the services for all five children.The loss of a child is one of the most painful experiences that an adult can have in life.
This is why funeral homes also play an important role in helping grieving parents through such a difficult time.
"You feel their pain but you don't know their pain because it's different with each individual person," Burton-Horstman said.
As they help with these services, they still have to deal with the emotional strain. This is why Burton-Horstman says the funeral home has a meeting every morning to touch base with staff to see how everyone is feeling and to support them.
"We have staff members and it hits them at different times too. So one staff member can be strong at one point and weak in another, so somebody else has to come pick that up as well," Burton-Horstman said.
That constant support is something Burton-Horstman says also needs to extend to the families, even after the funerals are finished.
"The funeral takes place in a relatively, quick period of time, so we're there when the pain is intense but the pain doesn't go away. Days, weeks, months, and years after a parent has lost a child, they're still in pain." Burton-Horstman said.
"It may not be quite as intense but it's there, it doesn't go away, and the support around them needs to stay with them."