The evolution of the relationship to death during a health crisis

02 Apr

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The evolution of the relationship to death during a health crisis

The relationship with death has evolved due to the impact of the health crisis we are experiencing. Through our various studies, we have been able to identify the new insights of the French population in the face of this societal upheaval.

More than a change, the revelation of our relationship with death.

First of all, in its inevitability. If we tended to deny our mortality by considering it mainly as a clinical experience (dying in hospital), death can occur in a more disorganized and sometimes sudden way, at home for example. A new deal that links death intrinsically to life.

Then in the ritualization of funerals. If secularization could lead until now to a decline in the investment in ceremonies, people who have not been able to accompany their loved one in their last moments of life find themselves doubly affected by the absence of a customary ceremony. A symbolic desert potentially disorienting individuals who cling more than ever to meaning and framework in this period of chaos.

Findings that lead to the need for greater anticipation of one’s own death. Both for oneself: to put some control on the inevitable, to put some ‘I’ back in the place where one does no longer exist, and to make sure that the desired ritualization will be held. And for the relatives: to relieve them of the task of organizing the event from a distance and, above all, to offer them the possibility of meditating.

A need for anticipation and contextual constraints that come into tension, not without consequences on the expectations towards funeral professionals.

Is it a transformation of the offer and the service approach, more digital, more technical, more dematerialized that is expected? Or is it the expectation of a body – precisely – of warmth and relationship where it is lacking? And in the face of fluctuating government decisions, what about our individual power (and frustration!) to choose and redecide for our last time?

Feel free to click on this link and contact Gwenael Lopez, Director of Qualitative Research, to learn more!

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