North Texas funeral director volunteers to help New York morticians overwhelmed amid pandemic

A North Texas woman with an expertise in the mortuary industry is in New York to help funeral homes overwhelmed by coronavirus deaths.

Cheryce Moss, who describes her work as an extraordinary mission, left DFW Airport five days ago to New York to volunteer to help with the growing number of bodies that must be buried.

“We’re making removals from the hospital and nursing homes, the medical examiners office. We’re doing it all,” Moss said. “As of right now we’re looking at anywhere between five to six funerals a day. That’s on top of calls coming in, the phones are pretty much ringing off the hook all through the day.”

Moss, 30, is a funeral director and embalmer at Laurel Land Funeral Home in Fort Worth and one of six from North Texas on similar assignments. She’s capturing moments of the experience with photos and video.

“One of the oldest cemeteries in New York, the guy who runs it is doing eight to nine funerals a day,” Moss said.

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Safety is her priority, as coming in contact with deceased victims calls for massive prevention.

“The mask, the shields, the hairnet, of course the gloves and the shoe covers as well. Just to make sure we’re all protected, because we also go back inside and we don’t want to track inside the funeral home or where we’re staying,” Moss said.

She calls the experience necessary and heartbreaking, noting while at gravesite burials, only a few family members are able to attend and often they are not allowed to get out of their vehicles.

“It’s really hard and its one of those things you never thought you’d find yourself in a position having to say to a family you can’t do certain things that used to be the normal,” Moss said.

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