Sunday 15 December 2019

Funeral video can help with grieving process

Gerry Duffy, who offers a funeral video service he feels helps with the grieving process.
Gerry Duffy, who offers a funeral video service he feels helps with the grieving process.

Ciaran HALL

GRIEVING periods are one of the most difficult times anybody can go through, but Thomas Street resident Gerry Duffy has found that recording the funeral can help with the process.

For years Gerry mainly recorded weddings and corporate events.

However, he was one day asked by the parents of an 11-year-old girl to record her funeral.

He noted that despite initial doubts, he acknowledged the power of the recording 'when I saw what had been done with the video in terms of the support it had given the parents'.

'Most people on the day of the funeral don't know who attended, their grief is so awesome.'

But speaking to family members later, Gerry said: 'When they eventually got the courage to watch the video, they were then able to appreciate all of those people that had made an effort to turn out on the day.'

He has since recorded almost 150 funerals, most of the work coming via funeral directors.

Many people would naturally be worried about invasive equipment and personnel.

However, he assured that the recording is always done discreetly.

'I will arrive at the church about 30-45 minutes before the funeral service would start. We'd traditionally work from within the gallery, and I wait until everybody leaves the church.

'Out of 500 people in the church, only five people would have seen me. We don't do the graveyard, the wake, the hearse, the procession. It's literally from when they arrive into the church until they leave.

'We're there to record the sound, the picture, the emotion. We're not there to make a drama out of what is a crisis.'

The service, he says 'is something unique we got into'.

But in his view it is something that can only be handled by someone who understands the 'respect and decorum' required for a wedding video, and who can carry it over for a funeral video.