Content Warning: Mentions of funerals, Covid-19 deaths, grief.
Over Spring Break I sat down with a dear friend and interviewed her about what it was like to be a funeral service student during the Covid-19 pandemic. She explained that it was a confusing time and that their ability to get hands-on experience was limited. Still, she is passionate about the industry and continues to thrive in it.
Although interviewing someone is not something I am new to due to partaking in TV and film classes in High School, rarely have I interviewed a friend. I find that when you interview a friend, sometimes the interview can become informal and you have to remind them and yourself to stay on track. I picked Nicole because she has an interesting story to tell and experience that I feel not many people know of. Covid-19 impacted everyone, and resulted in the death of millions. The funeral services industry along with healthcare workers were really the backbone to providing a safe and final farewell.
In an article on the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage website, the author states;
Remember that the stories and memories you collect are valuable not necessarily because they represent historical facts, but because they embody human truths — a particular way of looking at the world.https://folklife.si.edu/the-smithsonian-folklife-and-oral-history-interviewing-guide/the-interview/smithsonian
Interviews with friends and family allow us to collect and archive their truth and their history. For Nicole, being a student during such a time is not only her history but a monumental moment in how she follows her passion today. It allows someone who is not familiar with that world to get an idea of it.
Overall this experience has been great, and I have learned a lot. I want to thank Nicole for sitting down with me and allowing me the time in her busy schedule to interview her.