In response to the Bahamas Funeral Directors Association

Dear Editor,

I write in response to an article that was in Monday’s business section of the Tribune under the headline “Funeral homes in row over Dorian’s victims”.

When interacting with families who have lost their loved ones, sensitivity and compassion should be the order of the day.

No one who has a heart should prey on or exploit a saddened, broken and grieving family.

Furthermore, if they cannot help to bring them relief, at least don’t hurt them any more than they have been hurt already.

The aftermath of Hurricane Dorian has brought out the worst in many. But the thought of money has compounded it.

It is certainly amazing but not surprising that the Bahamas Funeral Directors Association (BFDA) has finally found its tongue to speak.

But the shocking part is: where was the BFDA when all of the bodies were being removed and when the families were hurting and needing a hug or someone to look out for them?

No one from this so-called association surfaced.

My advice to families and the government is to take the BFDA’s comments with a grain of salt.

It is untrue that a removal fee of six figures was collected for the recovery of Dorian victims.

In all fairness, I recall Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands inviting the association to come to Abaco to assist with the recovery. But, surprisingly, they never showed up.

And as printed in Monday’s article, any indication of putting up $300,000 by the BFDA is simply laughable.

Had they spoken with Iram Lewis, the substantive minister of disaster who has full responsibility and carriage of the process of seeing this whole mess cleaned, they would know the details.

They would have known that the families, in their meeting with the government, insisted that the mortician that was there with them from the day after the hurricane be responsible for providing the care and compassion that has been displayed from day one.

They would also know that the second, ill-advised meeting of morticians on Abaco was after there was a meeting with families, the Christian Council of Abaco and Bahamas, along with the Haitian Christian leader.

The meeting was mischief-making, to put it mildly, and only arranged to undermine the process.

This unfortunate “bellyaching” by the BFDA is a direct result that they see dollars signs now, but ignored the plight of the Abaconians when they needed help most.

Any organization whose spirit was not involved in positively impacting the lives of the survivors overall, is clearly not motivated by service to fellow mankind.

The reason why this is so dear to me is because I am a daughter of the soil and my interest lies in the people of Abaco.

My mother lives there and so do my siblings and other family members, not to mention I also have vested interest in the progress of Abaco.

Denalee Penn, CEO & founder, Evergreen Mortuary

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