Death care and Covid-19: a lesson in hardship and compassion

Our founder Poppy Mardall reflects on the heartache and privilege of supporting people through their grief during Covid-19.

As the year comes to an end and winter is upon us, I want to take the time to reflect on these last twelve months.

To be a funeral director in a global pandemic is a daunting prospect. In those early weeks in April, there was the horror of insufficient PPE and contradictory public health information as we tried to balance the rights of our clients with the safety of our team.

We felt heartache when restrictions, time and again, prevented people from having the funeral they’d hoped for. But we were also honoured to support people throughout their grief, trauma and confusion. It was a privilege to help create deeply meaningful experiences despite the restrictions and make important things happen safely.

Above all else, 2020 has deepened our understanding of the value of a good and meaningful funeral. Caring for the living and the dead with humanity makes a tremendous difference to the way grieving people look back on their experience.

It’s so important for everyone to have access to the best support and guidance so they feel confident about their choices — no matter how challenging the circumstances.

The last year has been hard, it has required us to dig deep and to care for each other like never before. But the lessons of the pandemic have also strengthened our commitment to fighting for better death care throughout the funeral sector.

We want people to know that really excellent care is possible and that it should be normal. 2021 brings the opportunity to work with our colleagues, community and wider public to achieve just that.

In the meantime, all of us at Poppy’s are wishing you peace, rest and hope throughout December and into the new year.

Don't miss exploitation is rife in death care - here's what needs to change and what it's really like working in a mortuary.

Discover more articles