Because the families of the victims of COVID-19 are under strict quarantine and can not attend the cremation service, we, who know a lot about death and cremations, perform a simple Buddist service in their absence. This video was made for those families in the hope that it will bring some comfort to them… knowing that their loved one was not just disposed of, but was treated with respect and dignity. The remains are saved until the family can claim them and have a proper ceremony.
A death today of a middle-aged man, in a RedZone not far from us, resulted in a request to use our crematorium, since it was not sure if the victim was positive or not but they didn’t want to take any chances.
It took the kids and staff a good hour to get things ready and although I am not allowed to participate in the actual ceremony anymore, I still want to make sure it is done in a respectful manner.
The ambulance arrived a short time later and everyone was told to stay far away. No family members or guests were allowed to witness the event and those that helped were disinfected several times as they placed the body into the furnace.
The furnace door was closed and the fire lit but this time there were no mournful tears as is usually the case. Only the sound of the ambulance leaving our back gate.
Infections are on the rise in Cambodia and as a result, several thousand people are under strict quarantine. The death count is still just a bit over 100, however, and we hope that it will not go that much higher.
Some people have expressed concern that we may be endangering the children and I can assure you that we have taken that into consideration… but these people being quarantined and dying are our neighbors just outside of our gates. We are providing a safe area to quarantine them so that if they do become positive they can be taken in for treatment immediately. We also have the only working crematorium, for many miles around, that is not in a residential area… making it ideal for a safe and secure final disposition.
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