Anyone who has lost a loved one knows just how trying a time it can be. When my mother passed away, I was a wreck for months. If there was a saving grace during that difficult time, its that my home at least provided me a small sense of normality. The same when a dear friend was killed in a mass shooting.

I’ve also been the victim of a break-in before. Nothing much was taken, thankfully, just some change I had in a glass jar in my bedroom. It was probably some kid skipping school who decided to see what we had in our house, but it was still a massive invasion. At that point, my hope felt almost alien to me.

Now, imagine what it’s like to lose someone, only to return home from the funeral to find you’d been burglarized. That’s what’s happened to some folks up in Canada.

A man and woman are facing close to 90 charges after police say they broke into residences throughout Southwestern Ontario during funeral services.

A 45-year-old woman of Dutton-Dunwich and a 55-year-old man, also of Dutton-Dunwich, were arrested following an investigation by OPP Elgin and Middlesex Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU).

OPP are urging people to be cautious when publishing funeral details.

Among the items stolen? Guns.

The OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) are right to urge caution when publishing details. After all, when you post an address, you’re basically advertising a particular house that won’t be occupied at a particular time. You’re doing half the burglars’ jobs for them.

Where the problem lies is that people don’t think clearly at a time like that. They’re grieving, not thinking. They’re in pain and they want to also reach out so others know where to come and celebrate their loved one’s life. They’re not thinking about the callous nature of some people, people who would prey upon them at the most difficult time in some of their lives.

People who do this are scum, but let’s face facts. While the Good Book says, “For you have the poor with you always,” there’s another group likely to be around just as long, and that’s the scum.

Folks, do your friends a favor. Offer to help them during difficult times like this. Act as a sounding board and help them keep from making big mistakes. If it’s necessary to publish all the details, find a volunteer to stay at the house so it’s not unoccupied. Just make sure it’s someone you can trust.

A funeral is a hard enough thing to experience at any time. People should be able to come home and feel something as close to normal as humanly possible, not a crime scene as things like their firearms are stolen by the absolute worst people society has to offer.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your neighbors’ places should they experience a loss. Being a good, observant neighbor can not just protect your neighbors, but a whole lot of other families who haven’t lost someone yet but will. They won’t be the victims of these kinds of people either.