Meet Lisa Dozier, funeral director, and funeral home owner in the tri-state area, catering to hundreds of grieving families at large. Dozier has been in the funeral industry for more than 20 years and has been a pillar of the community for many families during their most difficult times. As a funeral director, Dozier has been the key resource and support for many families arranging the best funeral service they see fit, as they mourn or celebrate the life of their loved ones. Unfortunately, due to the city mandates and national guidelines from the result of COVID-19, funerals are limited to ten people or less, not allowing families to have a traditional funeral. However, Dozier at this difficult time is bridging the gap and offering live stream services not stationary to a funeral home, but available at churches as well. This alternative allows as many extended family and friends to join in remotely and memorialize their loved one the right way! Sheen had a chance to catch up with the Brooklyn native to discuss what inspired her to become a funeral director, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected her industry and what she and her staff are doing to stay equipped and encouraged during the COVID-19 crisis. Read it here below!
For those who are not familiar with you or your empire, please tell us a little about who Lisa Dozier is and how you got started in the funeral business?
I am a 24-year veteran in the funeral industry. I have always known I wanted to be a funeral director. I can reflect all the way back to as early as age 9 years old and being so intrigued by the sight of an older relative sitting in his recliner chair; and although it looked as if he was just sleeping, he was actually dead. My father and I had just arrived at the home upon the time of their demise. The sight of that was the seed planted. I can remember all the adults trying to keep the kids from the living room but the sight of that was something that never left me. When I was in sixth grade, my teacher told my parents that I said I wanted to be a funeral director when I got older; my parents, of course, thought I would outgrow but I didn’t, I was destined for this. I also specialize in restorative art.
During these difficult times as the world together is persevering and looking for hope during the COVID-19 crisis, in what ways would you say your business or industry has been affected?
Personally, my staff and I are exposed to individuals who have died due to COVID-19. We are at great risk every day, so we have simply been focusing on protecting ourselves daily. However, it has affected my business and the entire funeral industry tremendously because family members can’t properly grieve and are being robbed of the right to grieve. These families can’t mourn the loss and see their loved ones, one last time. I work in the heart of the Caribbean community, so I began providing live stream services for families years ago who were unable to travel to the U.S. and attend the funeral. So, the upside to providing a live streaming service alternative is that we were doing this way before this pandemic, which made us feel very equipped during this time of the COVID-19 crisis.
People now have to use live streaming as an alternative for funerals now, how has the grieving process been for the loved ones?
People are very happy with the alternative. The alternative for a live-streamed funeral allows extended family members to join the service and their families remotely. People have been very receptive, to this alternative option. Also, it’s not like I have created this law, it’s all over the news and has been a law made by the government; because people are seeing everything themselves on the news every day, they’re understanding and receptive. By all means, please know they are happy about the alternative but not happy they have to do it under these circumstances.
How long is the live streaming?
Live streaming is definitely shorter. Not many people are in the room, a preacher is present to give words of encouragement and it’s a one-hour viewing, during a live streaming funeral. Live streaming is also still engaging than others may assume. During the last viewing, families are allowed to leave comments during the final viewing.
What do you hope we can learn from this COVID-19 crisis?
I hope we all continue to live a clean and healthy lifestyle. I hope the world begins to view life differently and not take things for granted. My staff and I share the same passion and practice the same universal preparation, which is knowing God Got Us!
What’s your favorite quote or scripture that you share with those who are grieving during the time they may feel they can’t give a proper goodbye?
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Click here to watch Lisa Dozier featured on Pix 11 Morning Show.
All images courtesy of Lisa Dozier