Holidays often prove difficult for many
Brad Yazel owner of Yazel-Megli Funeral Homes, has workedfunerals for more than 30 years with people saying a final goodbye to family and friends.
One thing he knows for sure is that the holidays are difficult for many people.
“Statistically, the death rate tends to increase in the colder months,” he said.
Pile on a lack of sunlight, viral illnesses, and being in close proximity to others who may be or may have been sick, and it can lead to lethal outcomes.
“Death anytime is significant. But around the primary holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter,” it’s worse, Yazel said.
One aspect that makes holidays particularly difficult is that while funeral home employees work 24/7/365, “many of the people we rely on don’t,” Yazel said.
That includes doctors, florists, gravediggers, and lawyers.
“Maybe this is grumpy old man, but we want to get things done for the family as quickly as possible because of their grieving,” he said. “Undertakers in general, we feel a great deal of frustration. We want to fulfill every wish a family has, and they deserve that.”
Among the ailing, there certainly is a “hold-on-till-Christmas-or-the New-Year” aspect.
“There really is a ‘will to live’ kind of thing,” he said. There are steps families and friends can take to try to keep people — especially seniors — healthy during the holidays.
County health nurse Krista Schneider offers these tips to try to keep people — especially seniors — healthy during the holidays.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Wash your hands often.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes (cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and then wash your hands).
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched services often.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
Holidays can affect mental wellness, too. If you’ve lost a parent, child, spouse, or other close relative around the holidays, the holidays often became a time of melancholy instead of joy.