The one thing that isn’t being talked about in the corona virus pandemic is that people are dying alone. And that’s not all: Covid-19 has changed the entire funeral service. -Debra Briss Wolfe
The woman you are about to meet has spent nearly 30 years in the funeral business. In fact, it is fair to say that being of service to those who have died and those who are mourning is in her blood. Debra Briss Wolfe is the great-great granddaughter of Jacob H. Levine, the founding father of Levine Chapels and that iconic funeral home has been part of the fabric of the Boston Jewish community for generations. A graduate of Mount Ida College, Debra recalls going inside Levine’s as a child, and becoming very aware that “important work” was done there. Armed with a degree in funeral service, Debra has been devoted to her work in the funeral industry ever since, first as a Funeral Director and now as a Family Service Counselor. With the death toll climbing each day from Covid-19, I wanted to ask Debra if she could shed some light on how the extremely contagious virus has changed her industry, what families can expect when their loved one is taken to a funeral home and how the rules around funeral services and burials have changed due to new CDC guidelines. The mother of two daughters, Debra says she has never shielded her girls from the reality of her work. A big believer in the healing power of yoga, she is “sitting in a lot of silence these days because I feel that I’m going to be needed by my colleagues, my friends and my family. This pandemic is going to be rough for a lot of people.” No matter what your faith is, Debra’s knowledge of the funeral industry, along with her understanding of the importance of religious customs and rituals for the dead and those who mourn them will educate, inform and inspire you.
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