The family of an 82-year-old area man who died from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) couldn't stand the thought of saying goodbye without a proper send-off have decided to hold a drive-by memorial.
On Wednesday, April 29, the Putnam County family is hosting a drive-by to commemorate the passing of their father, Brewster resident Mauro Chaves.
Chaves died on Thursday, April 23 from COVID-19 at Calvary Hospital in New York City. In addition to his illness, two other family members including his wife and daughter were also battling the virus.
"We thankfully recovered but my father passed away," said Monica Chaves.
Monica said that while she was sick she watched many friends celebrate birthdays with drive-by parties and was excited that "folks had found a safe way to be together and celebrate life."
When Monica was organizing her father's funeral, she quickly realized there would no services, no ability to come together, no real way to celebrate his life.
"My father was a festive man, he loved to bring people together and enjoyed being around the people he loved," she said. "He died all alone at Calvary hospital, with no relatives, dealing with the scariest moment of his life for over a month."
He could not speak so there were no calls, no familiar faces or voices, no comfort from any family member, she added.
While at Clark’s Funeral home in Katonah, Monica decided then to organize a “drive-by” memorial service/receiving line at her house in Brewster after a small viewing of three people at the funeral home.
It might not be the huge send-off Monica said her father deserves, but at least family and friends can say a proper goodbye.
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