Funermostra interviewed Wouter van Aaken, member of the Association of Commerce of Certified Dutch Funeral Companies (BGNU).
How would you summarize in a few words the response that the sector has given to the health crisis of covid-19?
On the one hand, a lot of pain with the families and a strong pressure on all funeral professionals in the affected regions.. Por otro lado, I believe that creativity has been enhanced and there has been a lot of commitment throughout the funeral sector.
Do you think the media has reported exactly on the sector? Do you think that society has treated all professionals fairly?
Yes, there has been quite a bit of media attention. We have had articles and personal portraits on funeral professionals in major national newspapers. The photo below shows the building of the province of Brabant, the region most affected by Covid-19. The projected text says: “Funeral Heroes” que significa “Funeral Heroes”.
Could you explain what the three conclusions would be after the experience of the Covid-19 crisis in the sector?
First, the limitation of a maximum of 30 people at a funeral has caused a lot of pain. The impact has been greater on people who were unable to attend funerals. Likewise, the crisis has also accelerated new initiatives. Almost all crematoria now have online transmission capabilities.
Por último, I think it is important to have clear guidelines. Sometimes, funeral industry entrepreneurs interpret different things, which generates confusion and disappointment on the part of the client.
4. What will be the changes in the sector after all this experience?
That is yet to be seen. Things can go back to normal, but many people also think that digital cooperation and smaller and more personal ceremonies will remain in part.
5. Do you think the memorials will return? How will they be?
Yes, we still have memorials. The Covid accelerated some trends that were already there. Attend smaller digital ceremonies with more freedom (just sitting around the coffin and sharing stories and memories without formal speeches). We hope this trend continues.