‘Originally I come from the event industry. I organized large consumer fairs in Utrecht and Arnhem. A few years ago, around the death of my parents, I decided to become an independent funeral director. I had a top job, but lacked a personal reason why I did my job every day. My father was an ex-priest and we often talked about death, I also lost my first great love very early. The funeral director who arranged my parents’ funerals was so inspiring that I thought: ‘Yes, this is also possible.’
“Colleagues from the event industry thought I was going to do something completely different. That is not the case: a funeral is 70 percent organizing and 30 percent personal guidance. You have to be good at organizing. You don’t want to make mistakes at a funeral. I prefer to have as personal contact as possible with the next of kin as soon as possible. This way I can help them organize a funeral that feels good.
“It is a step back in terms of income, and I could earn a lot more by implementing margins on the products. But I only charge a fee for my hours, so when I get a chest from the depot, people don’t pay extra margin on that chest. This feels good, I can live well on it, also because I have a man with a fixed income. And it brings in so much more than money in my bank account.”
‘I live with my husband and two sons, aged 14 and 18, in a private house in Arnhem. The eldest is about to leave home, he will study in September. We have been saving for him since he was born and he gets that money to pay for his tuition fees. His grandfather had saved up the same amount for him, so he goes to America with his best friend, among other things. I think he’ll have to borrow it soon, or he’ll take a side job.
“Our youngest plays football at De Graafschap and that costs a bit more than a regular football club. He is on the field six days a week, so you can imagine that a lot of football clothes and shoes go through that. That costs 450 euros extra per year. He is quite fanatical: he gets up every morning at a quarter past six to go to a school in Doetinchem that he can combine well with the daily training sessions.
“My husband and I have a joint account into which we deposit a monthly amount: I deposit 800 euros and he deposits 1,400 euros. Because the child benefit is credited to my account, I also pay for the children’s affairs. In addition, I also spend quite a bit on clothing every month, so I can cut back on that. So I buy second-hand more often, but sometimes I also buy clothes from a designer who reuses materials.”
‘You don’t want to make mistakes at a funeral’
Source link ‘You don’t want to make mistakes at a funeral’