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Newtown Funerals Sadden Small Town’s Morticians, Experience ‘Shakes Your Foundation To The Core’

newtown funerals

The last of the Newtown funerals are occurring today (though some families did not disclose the details of their loved ones’ services), and the end of life industry in a sleepy Connecticut town is still reeling from the shock of Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Each of the Newtown funerals represented a sudden loss, the additional dynamic of a death unexpected and across the board “too soon” — starkly so when considering the 20 first graders killed among the 27 victims. Even the adults were by and large young, some in their twenties and early thirties, and some in mid-life.

Funeral directors, morticians and coroners are accustomed to death, but even these industry workers say the Newtown funerals have been difficult to process despite providing guidance in the deaths of children as part of their day to day work. Pasquale Forino has been a funeral director for nearly 30 years, but he says an experience like the Newtown school shooting “truly shakes your foundation to the core.”

Forino is the funeral director of Neilan Funeral Home in nearby New London. The Huffington Post reports that Forino is also president of the Connecticut’s funeral director’s organization — with which he has been calling upon for supportive resources as the area copes with 27 deaths in the same day.

Of dealing with the Newtown funerals, Forino begins:

“Yes, I’m a mortician. But we’re human beings. When you see a child from a mass shooting, it really hits home.”

The Newtown-area funeral director describes the logistic difficulty that comes alongside the emotional impact of the Sandy Hook victims, explaining some of the elements that such a large number of burials require. Forino said earlier this week:

“In a small town like Newtown, they need a lot of help this week, with everything from counseling families to procuring caskets and hearses and making arrangements for burial … you have to talk to people as individuals. You need to be with them every step of the way, from the moment they walk into the funeral home to the moment the casket is placed and the dirt is shoveled over the grave.”

Firefighters Line The Procession Route For Daniel Barden Today In Newtown, Connecticut

Forino says his own experiences with loss at the age of 11, when his father died, inspired him to assist families in their time of grief:

“We do what we can do to take care of the families. We’ll deal with our own emotional needs later … The funeral director [back then] befriended me, and helped me deal with the pain. I took a job there shortly after, doing maintenance work, mowing lawns, shoveling snow. I could see from a distance that they were helping people, just like they helped me.”

Josephine Gay, Ana Marquez-Greene and Emilie Parker were laid to rest today in the final three Newtown funerals.

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13 Responses to “Newtown Funerals Sadden Small Town’s Morticians, Experience ‘Shakes Your Foundation To The Core’”

  1. Patrick Wagner

    What a tragedy this was, for the victims families, for the town of Newton and all of us. A terrible loss of young lives. The victim of one crazed person. Yet let's try to make some sense. A lot of people in the next few days, and for months to come are going to make this an issue for why guns should not be allowed. Lets not forget, guns did not do the evil. They are a thing. They are controlled by someone. People are going to use this as an excuse to try and take lone of our basic rights away from us… the right to bear arms in our own defense. Beware of these critics. Because if they succeed, only the people that have no respect for law and order will own guns. This is what they want. To leave us defenseless. To put us at their mercy. While I feel for the people of Newton, the young lives lost, lets not let this be an excuse to end one of our freedoms. Too many of our fine young men and women have given their lives to protect those rights. Don't throw them away in a moment of madness.

  2. Leonila Mondigo Hipolito

    Surviving relatives should make it sure they survive the end of this wicked world that is ruled by Satan in order to enter the New World under God's Kingdom and unite with them in the resurrection on a paradise earth (2 Corinthians 4:2-4, John 5:28-29, Luke 23:43, Revelation 11:15; 20:13-15).

  3. Beverly Silvy

    No I agree about our 2nd amendment rights, I get that. I however do have a serious problem with the assault rifles being allowed to be out on our streets like these tragedies that are happening. Its not your going hunting with this thing, its deadly, it belongs to the military or police, but not in the hands of a madman. I have alot of family members that have 9mm including my 2 daughters , but they are sane. No Problem , it is a problem when a crazy person goes in and slaughters 20 children and 7 staff members execution style, yea its a serious problem. God bless these families of the victims can't even imagine how they must feel and what they are going through. I will help fight to get those weapons away from the public.

  4. Anonymous

    Can't anyone express their feelings about the loss of these teachers and the innocent children that were killed in CT, without bringing politics and gun control into the conversation? If that is your only concern then why don't you start your own forum for this kind of debate? This forum should support the families of the victims and not for your own political views and name calling. Also we as Christians need too pray for the families and not suggest these families should make sure they get their lives straight so they can meet their children again. How judgmental is that? To assume you know the beliefs of these families is uncalled for. All I can do is pray for the families and everyone involved with these families that they don't read half of the comments on here because of the disrespect for them and their loved ones. I also pray they find some way to heal their hearts as hard as that is going to be. Ok I’m done expressing my thoughts so you can start with me with the thumbs down, name calling or nasty remarks about my comment!

  5. Jeff Sheets

    I'am very sorry for all the family's loss I wish I could replace everybody but we have grandchildren that older and younger WOW.

  6. Elizabeth Owens

    There are no words. There are no replacements for one's hearts. There is only survival and somehow carrying on.

  7. Lisette Lewis

    My heart goes out to the town of Newtown. I can't even begin to understand the horror you are going through. Please know that you are not alone, that entire country is hurting with you. May you be able to eventually find peace.

  8. Rick Hauptman

    This is the precise time to talk about gun control. These 27 would still be with us if we had laws to protect them. We are all grieving, from coast to coast, but we must talk about changes immediately or else the NRA wins yet again. If not now, then when? If not me, then who?

  9. Craig Scott

    Call me a weirdo but I've wondered how the mortician handling the shooters body dealt with it. Just how nasty did he get with that body? I know I'll never know and I'll never get an answer I believe but it'd be so hard to be professional with that dead body. Call me a weirdo.

  10. Daniele Erville

    well, it's easier if you choose to have compassion and know that he had a mental disorder and snapped. compassion is the ingredient we all need to be more loving. it's the antidote to violence.