Funeral directors concerned about high murder figures
Immediately, one assumes that funeral homes are on cloud nine when there's an increase in murders. As put by Calvin Lyn, president of the Jamaica Association of Certified Embalmers and Funeral Directors, 'man afi dead fi man live.' But since 2020, the number of deaths has been a cause for major concern for funeral directors across the island. Frankly speaking, they believe it's just too much.
"We are concerned to an extent because we are not hoping that the murder rate escalates and shoot up to the pinnacle for us to rejoice. No!" Lyn exclaimed.
"We are human beings too. It could happen to any one of us ... we have relatives and close friends and so on. Anything can happen to some of our friends too."
Currently, the number of murders in 2020 has exceeded 200. As of February 29, there were 233 murders recorded. This is a 10 per cent increase from the corresponding period last year.
According to Lyn, had he the power, he would work in tandem with law enforcers to curtail crime.
"We would work with the police to say what could be done to help minimise crime and violence," Lyn told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Of course, fewer deaths would mean not much business for funeral directors. But that's something they're willing to face.
"We are in the business but we are not asking you to die now to come here. We know that when we have a peaceful and proper country, the economy grows. And then all of us are going to benefit. The dead must be buried and, therefore, you get business from that. But we are not comfortable with the murder numbers."
Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are not benefiting a great deal financially from the increase in murders. Packages are constantly being adjusted to assist financially strained families.
"This brings hardship on the families as well, because a lot of families just can't afford it. We have cases where we have to actually assist and reduce the cost, and sometimes waiving the storage to accommodate the families so they can have a decent or respectable funeral," said Patrick Williams, vice-president of the association.
"Sometimes it's not all about the money, but it's about helping. Families will come and they are really struggling, and we try to nonetheless provide them with a dignified funeral," he added.