County gives celebration of life ceremonies for those left behind
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (CBS12) —
The tragic case of baby June has sent a mix of emotions across our viewing area.
People saying they can’t believe a little baby would be left for dead all alone.
Still, no one has claimed baby June, and if it stays like that, she will be one of many unclaimed deceased people in Palm Beach County.
When no one steps up to claim those who have died, it’s usually the most vulnerable that are victim.
Palm Beach County says when that happens, they step up to give them the respect no one else will.
Adriana Gorrondona may not have any kids of her own, but she considers herself to be an adoptive mother for the people in the county who die without anyone caring to say goodbye.
“The homeless, the loveless, the elderly,” says Gorrondona.
Someone like baby June who was just days old when a firefighter found her dead in the Boynton Beach Inlet.
She was seemingly left there with the hope that no one would find her.
“It’s probably going to come to me. Because those are the cases they make the examiner refer to me,” says Gorrondona.
Gorrondona is the case manager for Palm Beach County’s Human Services Division.
She says cases like these never get easier.
“Babies and children are very hard.It’s a very sad situation. You wonder what happened,” says Gorrondona.
But still, the county tries to give these unclaimed people the dignity they deserve by cremating the people who go unclaimed and celebrating their life.
They say they hold a “Celebration of Life” 4-5 times a year at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery where their urns are buried.
“Make sure they’re not just acknowledging these people have no one, but just acknowledging that they lived,” says Gorrondona.
The celebration is open to the public. Many attend io honor those who are forgotten.
“It is mind boggling that there’s so many people in our community that are without any support,” says Gorrondona.
Gorrondona says about 200 people in Palm Beach County die every year without being claimed.
She says her office has not yet received baby June’s case, but if it is passed to them, it may take a month to prepare her services.