Dear Editor: On Wednesday, April 15, my father and I received devastating news: my 92-year-old mother, Juana, a longtime resident of a nursing home, had succumbed to cardiac arrest after a short but severe illness.
The nursing home immediately began to pressure us into taking decisive action to ‘remove’ my mother from the facility because the nursing home did not have a morgue to place her. Thus began our scramble to make funeral arrangements.
Grieving had to be put on hold for the time being. After calls to several funeral homes, we found that the situation was much more dire and chaotic. Due to the ravaging effects of the pandemic, area funeral homes were inundated with waiting lists of more than 30 decedents awaiting arrangements.
After desperately trying to rectify this situation on our own, we contacted Father Fred Marano, Pastor of Sacred Heart Church, for guidance and suggestions. Immediately, Father Fred displayed in his usual loving way condolences and deep concern. He said, ‘Try Michael’s Funeral Home on Metropolitan Ave.’
We called and spoke with the director. When I mentioned Father Fred to him, the director immediately put all his work aside and helped us. Within two hours, he removed my mother from the nursing home and transferred her to the chapel at the funeral home.
The following day we met with the director and made final arrangements. We were able to say goodbye in a dignified manner to my mother. We know that the Holy Spirit, through Father Fred’s intercession, brought us the peace we were searching for in the midst of this storm. We are forever grateful to Father Fred and Sacred Heart Church.