Meeting with families all over the South of England
Throughout this year, we have reunited many families with their loved ones time and time again. And throughout the year, we have found that meeting with families during probably one of the hardest moments of their life is no easy feat.
We’ve recently expanded our Care Team at Neo, to allow us to meet with more families and spend more time with them when we deliver their loved one’s ashes back. After speaking to our Neo Grieving Consultant in the North, Claire, we decided to expand this interview to highlight another member of our dedicated Care Team. This leads us to Jeremy, our grief consultant in the South of England. He has been on the frontlines visiting and speaking to families from Kent all the way down to Cornwall.
In this blog, we have decided to catch up with him to see what a day in his life looks like, and hear about how he is making an impact in the funeral industry visiting one family at a time.
Meet Jeremy, our newest grieving consultant
A quick catch-up with Jeremy, our new grieving consultant
1. What is your job role at Neo?
Jeremy: I take care of the ashes and urns and meet the next of kin or their representatives to deliver the ashes, sometimes along with the deceased’s personal effects. I meet and speak to the families, and also offer them a listening ear.
During my visit, which may be a minute or an hour, I listen, I’m there for the recipient, and I aim to understand what needs to be said, if anything in particular at all. It’s often a private and important moment, and usually the first face-to-face contact with Neo, so it’s particularly special to me to carry out this role.
2. Before working at Neo, what was the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
Jeremy: Every job that I’ve ever pursued has been varied, creative and quite an interesting challenge. Mostly though, public service in secondary care hospital settings, particularly in infertility and assisted conception services was such an interesting environment to work in. I met and directly sought funding for every patient we treated, taking responsibility for the budget – which was particularly rewarding. People in need who I can do something for, is a great and good path for me.
3. How did you first learn about Neo?
Jeremy: Neo jumped out of the screen at me when I was searching for some fulfilling roles, something more where I can be out and about meeting and helping people. We all need each other do we not!
4. How do you integrate the role of care team driver with the rest of what you do?
Jeremy: My personal philosophy is that I’m a whole person with lots of varied attributes. Some are in need of stimulation, some lay dormant and need a bit of a wake up!
I care for my father on some days, I source interiors and antiques on other days, and I deliver blood and transplant items with the NHS on other days of the month.
All of these integrate a sensitive and observant part of me which is where I hope my care team driver role at Neo can benefit.
Jeremy with his father
5. What parts of your role do you find most rewarding and why?
Jeremy: It’s the people isn’t it? Where would we be if we couldn’t read others, respond to them or just ‘be’ there for somebody else? I imagine we’d be in a world of self-centred and all-consuming chaos! The ashes care team delivery role is a very grounding one, particularly in the human condition. It is particularly rewarding to interact with the person in front of me, however and whoever they are, when I meet them during my work at Neo.
6. Can you give us an example where you have had to feel empathy?
Jeremy: Everyday I can feel empathy; whether it’s the homeless lady at the end of my road or the crying child at the dentist! Empathy for me cannot be escaped.
Any moment in the process after a life has ended, can draw empathy out of those who wish to and are able to express it. Some can contain their emotions, some can engage with them; we all react differently in times of stress.
7. What is the difference, to you, between sympathy and empathy?
Jeremy: If you feel sympathy for someone, it is your own feeling; sometimes expressed to offer a sign of acknowledgement to another.
To empathise with someone, is for them to understand the unspoken, for them to feel at ease and feel understood.
Maybe it’s as simple as: sympathy is given to another person, whereas empathy is felt by the other person; a natural comfort.
8. What do you want families you visit to know?
Jeremy: Individuals and families I visit deserve to feel comfortable that the person they meet knows what they’re doing, is professional and compassionate enough to handle any situation during such a personal exchange of the ashes.
9. What do you feel is missing in funeral care today?
Jeremy: In my short time with Neo, death is for most people, an event not so very common. And when it does happen, it would appear that the tragic event prompts the old traditional processes that funeral care and death can trigger. Those days are perhaps outdated now.
What I believe is missing in funeral care today is our own conscience and the clarity to see what we need to do next; like a roadmap to guide us through the tragedy. One that is easily accessible so that funeral care can take place in a land-friendly way, paying the best of respects to those we have lost whilst caring for the environmental legacy we leave behind.
10. How do you think families can be better accompanied during the grieving process?
Jeremy: Neo accompanies grieving individuals and families by virtually holding their hand throughout the whole process, step by step, right to the end. And beyond actually! After the urn and ashes are delivered to the next of kin, the Neo team remains open for the families, so that anything which can be improved upon or nurtured is always an ongoing and open communication.
Continuing to Grow with Neo
In addition to working with Neo, Jeremy is a creative person these days with varied interests in the interiors and antiques world. He has a business management background in secondary healthcare in London hospitals, but at aged 40 wanted to spread his wings and become self-employed. We are very happy to have Jeremy as a part of our team and we are excited to see all the ways in which he will grow in the role of Neo.
Jeremy working for the NHS
Continuing to grow with Neo
As we expand our Care Team, the last thing we want is to lose touch with who the team are as individuals. Our team is composed of folk who have a thorough understanding of the role they are doing, and come with a variety of skills and life experiences that make it easy for them to connect with people from all walks of life.
If you want to learn more about our Care Team
If you want to learn more about Neo and our Care Team please visit our Inspiration page.
For any other inquiries, feel free to give us a call at 0808 196 2140 or send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. A team member is on call 24/7 and will be there to assist you.