Casket Floating Into Yard During Hurricane Ida Leads to Incredibly Touching Moment
Sometimes, it takes experiencing the worst types of agony for us to see the most beautiful side of humanity.
That's exactly what happened in the Barataria-Jean Lafitte area just south of New Orleans. CBS Mornings Lead National Correspondent David Begnaud was covering the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana when an assignment brought him to the flood-ravaged area along Barataria Bay.
Begnaud said he noticed a casket sitting on someone's lawn—clearly out of place—but it's not an uncommon sight, as everything tends to float once waters rise and hurricane-force winds begin to shift everything around like the real-earth version of a Louisiana gumbo.
David said he noticed a nametag on the casket (in Louisiana, nameplates are required to be put on caskets exactly because of situations like these) and a bit of quick Google work led him to one of the family members of the deceased.
When Begnaud spoke to the man who owned the property, he said he originally noticed the casket near a tree line. The man and his son pulled it to a dry area on the bank, and what happened next was a moment that Begnaud described as one of "gratitude."
A relative responded to the call once he realized his grandmother was displaced but didn't know how he would manage to get her casket back where it belonged due to the floodwaters and conditions that are still affecting the southeastern region of Louisiana.
Like I said earlier, this is such a concerning issue in areas of south Louisiana that after the 2016 floods, the state government formed a Cemetary Response Task Force. The group makes sure that any caskets that float away are reburied, "properly and respectfully." They also require all caskets to contain identifying information in the event that they are found away from their intended burial site.
Luckily, Esther Morton's name was on her casket when she was buried in 2013—not because she had to, but because she and her family wanted it that way. 2013 was also the last time Morton's grandson, Troy Harvey, saw her casket—when he helped carry it to her final resting place.
When he returned home, he had no clue what to do with the casket, but apologized to the homeowner and promised he would do something with his grandmother's remains as soon as he could. Harvey openly asked for help from anyone who could help him get his grandmother back into the ground, and that's when the homeowner gave him a response that he couldn't believe.
The homeowner assured him that as soon as the ground dried up, he would use his trailer to take Harvey's grandmother back to her gravesite and put her back where she could rest peacefully once again. Harvey was at a loss for words, and simply hugged the man saying "that's how we do it on the bayou."
The men actually remembered one another from growing up in the area, but it has been 30 years since they've seen one another since Harvey moved away to Texas. Clearly, neighborly love and kindness know no time limit as the homeowner didn't hesitate to let Harvey know that his grandmother would be looked after.
Before leaving, Troy Harvey let his grandmother Esther know that everything was going to be alright.
This story is just one of many, as the Cemetary Response Task Force believes that 30 to 50 caskets have been displaced due to Hurricane Ida, but through flyovers and neighborly love like the story you just saw, they will see to it that every casket find their proper home once all is said and done.
Hats off to good neighbors and everyone behind the task force that ensures that everyone, even the deceased, can find peace after the storm.