A tribute to the 99ers: We are not invisible.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I have been a Funeral Director for most of my professional life. Occasionally I help a friend with his business. Such was the case this week when I assisted him with two services. In both cases the deceased was single. One of the deceased was about my age, the other about 1/2 my age. Neither had married. Both died unexpectedly, at home, alone. Family members had to go to the apartment, meet the police and see their loved one taken away. No matter what happens, these two people had died too soon. Their story is concluded.

When I joined the cause for a Tier V, Al had nothing left to give.  There were 99ers like Al that had no fight left before he died, there were more suicides after he died and unfortunately there will be more yet in the upcoming year.  The situation is beyond frustrating or sad or mad. There shouldn't be 99ers.  Extending a safety net for the long term unemployed is good social policy and sound economics. Still, common sense and compassion do not always rule and so it goes.

This has been a miserable year for 99ers. Yet, if you are reading this you've had an infinitely better year than Al or the two people that died alone at home. If you're reading this, you still have possibilities.  Possibility is what we live for. I still count my blessings and hope you can, too.

2010, over and out. Tomorrow brings a New Year, full of possibility. Happy New Year.

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