Dallas Funeral Home Founder Says COVID-19 Deaths Take Human, Emotional Toll

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John Brooks says the last few months have been unlike anything he’s experienced.

“We are seeing a rise,” he said. “There’s no question about it.”

And last week, he reached a breaking point when a young person was being laid to rest due to COVID-19.

“I was tired. We had had several COVID cases that day,” Brooks said. “The person was young.”

As the founder of The John P. Brooks Funeral home in Dallas, he’s seen death, but not through the lens of a deadly global pandemic.

“It’s sometimes unbelievable to us that we could possibly get seven on one 24-hour period and then wait a day and get three more persons that have passed away from COVID-19,” Brooks said.

Dallas County experienced a stretch of 18 days with more than 1,000 daily cases of COVID-19. And Wednesday, 30 reported deaths in a single day.

“As funeral directors and embalmers we all respect al diseases,” he said. “This one scares me the most, out of all the ones that I have been around.”

Brooks said the writing was on the wall months ago. He knew his phone would be ringing more often, so he designated a morgue just for COVID-19 cases.

“When we started seeing things with the funeral directors and the embalmers in New York with human remains in that part of the country in refrigerator trucks, we knew we were in trouble,” he said.

Brooks said there’s more death and it’s taking a toll emotionally

“I speak to colleagues all over this city, all over this metroplex, all over North Texas that say the same thing,” he said. “It’s overwhelming.”

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