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“Love you ‘till the end” – and forever after

We all have people in our life who are very close to us. People with whom we have had the privilege of sharing a number of experiences and wonderful moments that mean a great deal to us. It is therefore natural that we want to capture these memories after their death. Condolence books and sympathy cards record the farewell messages of the bereaved and represent a precious keepsake for family and friends, which can help them cope with their grief.

During the interview Marco Casanova explained how to deal with the loss of a loved one and create a digital condolence book.

“The death of a person we are close to overwhelms many family members,” explains Marco Casanova, son of the former Swiss Vice Chancellor and Government Spokesman Achille Casanova. Often the death of a loved one is so sudden as we don’t like to remind ourselves of mortality and how fragile life actually is. Even if someone has been ill for a long time, it’s often difficult to talk about things that happen after death and are important when they are alive. You would rather not think about this while they are alive and we prefer to forget the fact that this will be reality at some point. How should the funeral service be organised? What would my recently deceased father have liked for music? How and where should the burial take place? Everyone should ask these questions during their lifetime. Discussing death is very important for this reason, in particular because otherwise the bereaved are left on their own with this.

The Internet provides a great deal of information of course. PDFs, tips and all kinds of information, more than you want. Formalities and paperwork are part of the everyday agenda during this intense time and all the details need to be coordinated and agreed with the family. But the grieving family can only function in this situation: the fewer decisions they have to make, the better. “One highly challenging matter is also dealing with all the condolence messages from friends and acquaintances” explains Marco Casanova from his own experience. In an interview with him, we found out what really matters during such a traumatic event.

Marco Casanova, you have actively dealt with the issue of bereavement and dealing with traumatic event such funerals. How so?

After my father’s death I had to find a way to function and I have to admit that I was pretty overwhelmed with the situation at the beginning. In these moments everything needs to be done quickly and you have to take control of things yourself, as there are lots of personal decisions to make. I wished there was a bereavement portal on a digital platform to guide me through this totally new situation step by step. Since this didn’t exist, I then launched www.onlinekondolenz.ch after some time.

Your platform includes a digital condolence book which can be created collaboratively. Why do you offer this?

As a result of my father being so prominent, after his death my family received a huge amount of messages through all imaginable channels: condolences by SMS, email, letter – we could barely cope with the volume. At the funeral I observed how many people struggled to instantly write a message in the condolence book. This is a very personal moment and people would like to take all the necessary time for this, which is unfortunately not available at a funeral. Then I asked myself: how can you take the pressure off the bereaved? This is how the whole thing got started and onlinekondolenz.ch was born.

What do your customers do afterwards once the digital book has been created?

The condolence book can be downloaded as a PDF and ordered from a photo book provider of your choice. The book helps the family but also everyone who is grieving, i.e. friends and acquaintances, process their grief. Nobody wants the loved person to be forgotten. Any memories can be captured in this book – thus, in the end it is more than a simple condolence book, it is a real biography that reflects a whole life even beyond death.

Marco Casanova

Marco Casanova is the founder of Onlinekondolenz.ch. Nobody is spared having to carry a loved family member or friend to the grave. With his platform he wants to help people in this situation to cope with it as best as possible.

Achille Casanova’s page shows what the online platform can look like for a specific person: http://onlinekondolenz.ch/achille-casanova

If you want to express your sympathy for the bereaved with a personal and stylish card, we have prepared for you many suitable templates for condolence and sympathy cards. You can also add a personal touch with some photos and thus create a lasting memory for the bereaved family.

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