I want to bury my brother - Man seeks help to cover funeral expensesrest

January 18, 2017
Clinton Douglas holds a copy of the invoice from the funeral home.
Richard Douglas

On December 13 last year, Clinton Douglas set out to visit his double amputee, diabetic brother, Richard ‘Howie’ Douglas, in Jones Town, Kingston, to carry out his daily routine of caring for him. However, he got the shock of his life when he realised his brother was lying dead on the bed.

“I went there about after 7 a.m. Mi glance through the window and see him on the bed. So, mi push a stick through and lick him pon him hand, and mi nuh see no movement. I couldn’t move either, me almost dead too,” a heartbroken Douglas recalled.

It has been over a month since the passing of the 44-year-old man, but Douglas said he is still extremely depressed because of the close bond they shared. He is even more devastated because the humble family cannot afford to bury their beloved Howie.

So far, they have identified an area of their family plot in Border, St Andrew, as the burial ground. However, they are yet to set a funeral date, as they will have to fork up $6,500 to give to the parish council to pass the land for burial, another $263,000 to the Jones Funeral Home in Kingston for their cheapest package, as well as the cost to build the grave.

Douglas, who is a seasonally employed gardener, told THE STAR that the cost is far beyond his family’s reach, as they have an ailing father and a mentally challenged brother to care for. A brother, who sells donuts in downtown Kingston, and an unemployed sister are trying their best, but it is still not enough.

“Right now me feel a heavy burden. I feel very bad, because me woulda like him fi go laid to rest long time. He was a nice person. He was a Christian and go to church. He was a nice brother, very kind and him neva give any trouble — just romp, and talk, and give joke,” Douglas recalled of his brother.

He added that Howie used to do handy jobs for anyone who would ask, but when he lost both legs to diabetes three years ago, he took to begging for assistance in Cross Roads, St Andrew.

Howie’s church has pledged to assist where possible, but all the family has towards the funeral right now are three bags of cement. Douglas explained that even if they opt to remove the body from the funeral home and bury it in a makeshift coffin, they would lose their discount deal with the funeral home, causing them to pay thousands of dollars for each day the body was stored.

“Right now, mi head no feel righted because of all of this,” Douglas said. "I need assistance, and begging because we need help. We would be very thankful.”

Those who wish to assist may contact Clinton Douglas at 1-876-558-6192 or Scherrie Whittingham (sister-in-law) at 1-876-863-9453.

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