Indigent: adjective. poor; needy | noun. a needy person
Working with Letitia (see this post) raised a multitude of questions for me. What happens to sick people who have no one and nothing, the “indigent?” Where do they go as they get sicker and can no longer care for themselves? What happens to them when they pass away? Who organizes their services? Are there services?
Letitia’s services were not held until nearly a month after her passing. My search for her obituary was in vain. There wasn’t one. I didn’t find out about the services until after they had already taken place. In the end, her estranged family did end up taking care of them but, what of those people who do not have family or anyone else for that matter?
In perusing the interwebs, searching for things to photograph in my area, I came across a service honoring those people I had been wondering about.
Indigent Cremains Burial Service
The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office recently held a public ceremony to honor 14 “indigent” members of our community. Some 70 members showed up to pay their respects to those who had passed, some still unknown. The ceremony comes by way of a generous donation of Sue Brown, a Bainbridge Island resident who had worked with a man who had developmental disabilities. Upon his passing, she went to claim his remains and did not feel right leaving the other unclaimed remains behind. She generously donated two plots in the Silverdale Pioneer Cemetery to the county to be used for laying the forgotten souls to rest.
In their statement, the Coroner’s Office says the reason for the ceremony, “Through no fault of their own these citizens left the world without family and funds for a final resting place. We at the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office feel very strongly that these individuals deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.”
And that, they were.
In the touching service, Chaplain Don Melendez of Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, touched on the importance of reaching out and lending a helping hand to these “indigent” individuals of our community. It is not enough to simply honor them after they pass. As he concluded the ceremony he said, “Let’s make that promise to one another; we will not be alone. This community is too great for anybody to be alone.”
Names of those honored in this ceremony:
- Sandra J. Post
- Yvonne Diane Feltzman
- Richard Dale Miller
- Remedios Reyes Byrne
- Herbert Jay Schorr
- James Lee Anderson
- Joyce A. Yale
- Reinee Louise Wohlers
- Margaret Mary Callahan
- Csaba A. Feher
- John P. Marion
- Robert N. Sage