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A Good Friday message to funeral directors from NAFD President David Barrington

Today is Good Friday. However this year, perhaps, we might have to search a little harder to find the ‘good’ in our current circumstances.

Like many of you, our funeral homes are incredibly busy and I look at the weeks ahead with some trepidation. But I am relieved that the guidance which protects us around use of PPE is clearer and that if we are running short of stocks we will be getting support through local resilience forums (and I know that the NAFD is pressing the Scottish government to follow suit). I am also in awe of the families we are caring for who are, almost without exception, being so stoical and brave in the face of so much additional distress.

More and more are contacting us having already done their research and knowing exactly what kind of funeral they will be able to arrange. Isn’t it strange that something we have wanted, for so long, has suddenly happened? I wish that it had not been as a result of so many more people losing a loved one, but I am grateful all the same that the public now has a greater awareness of our role and how we can help them. It’s also brilliant to see more and more funeral firms using technology to help their clients and just how creative everyone is being.

Finally, I’m very proud and touched that increasing numbers of the public recognise our contribution to the national effort in the fight against this terrible virus. If you haven’t seen it yourself, just follow the NAFD on Twitter and Facebook and you’ll see some wonderful comments.

So I do believe that there’s much to be grateful for and much that is good, despite the pressure we are all under and the personal tragedies we are seeing on a daily basis.

Being a key worker isn’t easy, is it? It can put you under immense strain and fill you with worry as you step up to support the public despite concerns you may have for your own safety and that of your teams. I was talking with a colleague yesterday about how we could support a particular family that had lost someone to COVID-19 and how their particular circumstances would necessitate us changing a company decision we recently made.

My colleague turned to me and said: “Isn’t that what we do? We say yes, even if it’s difficult’. And I had to agree. Because that’s what we do as funeral directors and that’s what is being asked of all key workers in this fight against COVID-19. Follow the advice, commit to your role and be there for the public. Because they need us and because it’s the right thing to do. It may be difficult, but that’s what we’re here for.

From my family to yours, I wish you all the best and hope you all get a chance to recharge over the weekend. Keep safe and well.


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