Funeral counsellor, or the art of honoring the dead and accompanying the living

“When I told my friends I was changing jobs, the only clue I gave them was that I had to wear a suit. And immediately they answered: “Croquemort! But yes! This is for you!” »

The suit is yes and custom made! Bart Thorree has no appetite for death or even disease. There is nothing to see. It is his sensitivity and desire to help his neighbor that led him to this “shadow profession”, as he describes it.

Previously, in almost another life, Bart worked for a “start-up nation” type company, a com box. Made videos, 3D animations. Ironically, his professional life had lost all comfort for him. My partner Mickaëlle said to me one day: “You are dying. And he was right. So Bart asks to be economically fired.

A revelation

For two years, he was engaged in other professions, tried, experimented. Until the exact day when his friend read him this ad: “I’m looking for an undertaker”. It is enlightenment. Almost a revelation. “I used to wonder how I managed not to think about it. »

But when you call, the place is already taken. No matter what. Bart feels it, he has found his way. “I knocked on every door, I asked everywhere how a person managed to become a “funeral consultant”? His path led him to Carreau Funeral Home, an independent company in Limoges. Boss Damien Doirat asks him: “Do you have experience? A costume? The answer to both of his questions is no. But two men meet. Damien Doirat explains to him all aspects of this profession. The interview lasts four hours. “Go to a tailor,” concludes Damien Doirat, who will design and finance the diploma studies of a new funeral consultant and master of ceremonies.

The meaning of life

Near death, Bart found meaning in his professional life. “It’s a noble job,” he smiles. The goal is to ease the transition to mourning, which has not yet begun. That person is dead, but his body is still there. Strange and painful in between. “People are not in a normal time of their lives, but in one of the worst times. Our role is to be as calm as possible to help them be a little calmer. »

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Take care of the dead as well as the living. The funeral director receives the family, accompanies them administratively, because the death is very framed and requires a number of declarations, listens to each other to organize the ceremony.

At the same time, he deals with setting a date for the church, cremation or burial, collects permits, organizes the schedule of the casket and the ceremony.

This is for living things. You should also take care of the deceased. This is a mortuary toilet. “This is the moment I feel so calm. Even my breathing is different. I did not know him alive. I think of the family that will find him later. »

Bring calm

On the day of the funeral or cremation, Bart becomes the master of ceremonies. “I withdraw as much as possible, I am always with you. We have to control everything. The day of the ceremony is a wound and a pain for close relatives. The quality of mourning may depend on this day, so it should be as quiet as possible. Grief is like healing. It is a transition, not a state. »

“If one day all this does not affect me, I will stop. But that day will affect me a lot. » The meeting of commerce with men, the noble and the human.

Coralie Zarb

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