Today I did a funeral for an individual with IDD in my community at the request of his ward. His ward said, "I would not expect anyone to come." Outside of us, not a single person came to the hour-long visitation before the funeral service. I proceeded with the funeral service because this individual, and all people, deserve to die with dignity. As I was wrapping up my final comments and transitioning into the closing prayer a woman walked into the funeral home with flowers in her hand. While she was late it was a breath of fresh air that someone else came to say goodbye.
If you are reading this and your heart is aching maybe that is the Holy Spirit talking to you and urging you to make a difference in your community.
Do you know what happens to individuals with IDD in your community if they have no family members or friends to care for them when they pass? If they are the ward of the state they are likely cremated and their remains are simply placed in a cardboard box. This is absolutely soul-crushing and should not be!
Do you want to do something about it? Become a guardian! Be a voice for those in your community that haven't been given a voice. This is likely one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. You can do it as an individual or you can gather a team of people from your church and make it an official part of your disability ministry. Want to know more about how?