When lockdown began I was in between jobs. I worked on a Disney film at the beginning of the year and was waiting for the high season of the entertainment industry to kick in whilst I was also due to be working on another film.
I have received no financial support from any scheme at all but by chance I was asked to work at one of the temporary morgues in East London. That job ended and I felt that since I was already working with the dead I could get a job as an undertaker. I applied for a few positions and the rest is history.
As a funeral service operator my job consists of transporting cadavers/coffins, funeral admin and pallbearing at funerals. I find the job highly satisfying and enjoy the role. I think that my background as an artist helps me in some subtle ways. For example when needing to be articulate and considerate whilst interacting with bereaved families.
The coronavirus restrictions meant less people are allowed to attend the funeral and less pallbearers carrying the coffin. However, during the peak of the pandemic we were attending five funerals a day, five days a week. Boys in their teens were recruited in order to help with the demand. Fortunately the pace has slowed down and we are back at normal levels now.
Having seen death up close and on a constant basis has oddly resulted in me having less fear in general. I am not quite sure what the cause of this is. However, it has made me change my perspective and a lot of things that used to make me anxious don't register with me any longer.