Paddy Lynch ’08

Paddy is a third generation funeral director and graduate of WSU’s Mortuary Science program. His family has been in the funeral business for 70 years and we recently spoke with him about how his work has changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The most important part of our work has always been to meet people where they are and understand what families want, while having the patience to guide them through such an emotional time,” says Paddy.

Now, with family and friends attempting to comfort each other from a physical distance, funerals have become a complicated assembly. “You can’t gather in the ways we’ve been accustomed to gathering which is a real spiritual poverty and a psychological and emotional one as well. Funerals are about congregating and sharing grief and experience. But, funerals are also about getting the dead where they need to go. At a time like this, that’s all the more true – not just psychologically and spiritually, but logistically – in the name of public health and the common good,” said Paddy.

We asked Paddy what advice he had for current WSU students, however, we could all use his words during this time. “Be honest with people. Be human. Don’t be afraid. You are not supposed to be able to cope perfectly. Create space to feel and decompress – you are not a machine.”

Paddy Lynch is Warrior Strong and our Wayne State community thanks him for the important part that he is playing in the fight against COVID-19.

Warrior Impact highlights the compassion, hard work and unwavering determination of WSU alumni during the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts of those who are taking a stand to end systemic racism and positively impact the continued fight for racial equality and justice. If you have a story you’d like to share about you or a fellow alum, submit your story here.

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