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Funeral carrier - between strength and delicacy

By Aurélie Vasseur, Content Writer

Our funeral carriers play a key role in our company. When a death occurs at home or in a residence, they are the first people the family meets. These men are both robust and reassuring. Their mission is not only to care for the deceased during transport, but also to answer the questions of families often disoriented by the loss of their loved one. In this article, we invite you to meet them.

Physical and mental strength

It goes without saying that funeral transport requires good physical condition. Our service men have to lift heavy loads several times a day. It's not just a question of transporting the deceased, but also wooden or metal coffins.

Their precious work requires another kind of strength, one that not everyone has. Their mental strength is incomparable. In addition to dealing with the inevitability of the end of life on a daily basis, they are able to listen and comfort families who are just beginning their grieving process. Our funeral carriers have a great emotional intelligence. 

A day as a funeral carrier

Funeral carriers don't have a typical day. Working in teams of two, they have several missions.

- Go to the place of death. This varies from day to day: hospital, CHSLD, residence, home, etc.

- Accompany the deceased to the laboratory.

- Transport the coffin or urn ready for viewing, burial or scattering. 

Our 10 exceptional men

Michel - 33 years of service

As a child, Michel lived above an Urgel Bourgie service point. His parents both worked there. His father was a limousine driver and porter, and his mother was a receptionist.

In his opinion, Urgel Bourgie is part of the history of the funeral industry in Quebec. He feels a strong loyalty to the Bourgie family, whom he knew well.

His passion is helping people in mourning and caring for their loved ones. Michel feels so comfortable in his role that for him, it's not a job, but rather a hobby.

Pierre B - 39 years of service

Pierre started out at Urgel Bourgie as a horticulturist. He held a number of positions, including pepine operator for 35 years. He has now been in transportation for 3 years.

What drives Pierre the most is serving families and giving them all the attention they need to ease their grief.

Pierre V - 38 years of service

When he was young, Pierre attended several funerals. His father knew some Urgel Bourgie employees, which led him to start working there as a porter. The company seemed huge to him, and he knew very little about funerals at the time. He feels fortunate to have been able to learn how a funeral business works and to grow within it.

What Pierre loves most is serving families, empathizing with them and reassuring them. He makes sure to take care of those present, answering their questions so that they feel "in good hands".

Pierre also knew the Bourgie family, who instilled in him an essential value: respect in every gesture.

Pierre knows there's nothing easy or cheerful about his job on the surface, but he's proud to play such an important role in society. 

Pierre-André - 1 year of service

A few years ago, Pierre-André never imagined himself working in the funeral industry. But his father-in-law, who also works at Urgel Bourgie, convinced him and helped him adapt to this new field.

Pierre-André loves his work environment and the unfailing presence of their manager Michelle. He also enjoys meeting the families because he feels he brings them something positive despite the sadness.

Finally, Pierre-André confides that you shouldn't be fooled by appearances, it's a job like any other and society needs them.

Serge - 25 years of service

After a career in IT, Serge switched to funeral transport. He feels freer and less stressed. What appeals to him most are the flexible working hours and the freedom of being out on the road.

Serge thinks it's a great job, but it's an easy one most of the time. 

Edmard - 7 years of service

A former teacher in his home country, Edmard was persuaded to join Urgel Bourgie by a friend who told him the company was hiring new employees. He began working for the company as an activity attendant, then as a porter, and finally as a funeral carrier.

Edmard admits that on his first transport, he had a few shivers, but that soon passed. He feels himself as a first responder, comforting families and sharing their grief.

Edmard confides that in Haiti, there are myths about death. He assures us that everything we hear is nothing more than a myth, as he has been able to verify for himself. 

Mike - 21 years of service

Mike's first experience in a funeral home for a close loved one was when his father passed away. At the same time, the company he worked for was going through a mass layoff, which he didn't escape. On the bright side, he saw an advert for a funeral porter and got the job at Urgel Bourgie.

Mike feels privileged to see behind the scenes, something the outside world doesn't have access to. He also enjoys observing the difference in the deceased's appearance between the moment he arrives at the laboratory and the moment at the viewing where he has regained his serenity thanks to the work of our thanatology colleagues. For him, it's a unique job that not everyone does, but it's something he's very proud of.

Pascal - 23 years of service

It was an acquaintance of Pascal's who told him about the opportunity to work at Urgel Bourgie. He likes the atmosphere, his colleagues and the fact that every day is different.

In his opinion, it's a great job that offers human contact and daily challenges.

Robert - 33 years of service

Thanks to an acquaintance of his mother, Robert seized the opportunity to work for Urgel Bourgie. Today, his job as a funeral carrier fulfills him with its flexible schedule and his need to be outdoors.

It is a very physical teamwork, but it's necessary to take time. Robert mentions that funeral carriers need to know how to talk to people and show great empathy.

Pasquale - 1 year of service

A warehouseman for 37 years, Pasquale has reached retirement age, but finds himself too young to stop. Having already done business with Urgel Bourgie, he decided to continue his career there. The company is in his neighbourhood and he already had a lot of acquaintances there.

For Pasquale, the strong points of his profession are the team around him, the family environment and Urgel Bourgie's attachment to the Italian community.

The profession of funeral carrier is a surprising one, combining a variety of skills - physical, intellectual and emotional. Urgel Bourgie / Athos is proud to have such a committed and loyal team.