I'm 24 and work in the funeral industry—here's what I've learned
At 24 years old, I took a chance and jumped ship from working as a reporter in a newsroom full of men, to a position working for all funeral directors in the state of Ohio. The change was a somewhat reluctant one as I had this picture of somber funeral directors and a perpetual sense of sadness.
hat could not be further from the truth. In the last two years, this is what I’ve learned from working with funeral directors:
It’s not about the money. It’s about helping families through the grief process and beyond
I often run into the idea that funeral directors are money hungry. They’re not. Some might be, but most are just trying to keep the cash flowing through the funeral home so they may continue to offer the products and services the families they serve need.
They have the absolute best sense of humor Funeral Directors are on par with stand-up comedians. They can be serious when it’s warranted (i.e. arranging a service with a family) but they have to keep a light spirit in order to serve families the best way they know how. If you ever come in contact with a funeral director outside of the funeral home, be prepared to crack a smile.
It’s not an easy job
Deaths strike close to home. They have to bury young children, friends, restructure body parts following a death from an accident, and much more. Even the most hard-hearted person can crack in this profession.
It’s important to know what kind of service your loved one wants
But also important that they recognize what your family members will need in order to grieve properly. Funeral directors often run into situations where the deceased pre-planned to be cremated directly following the death, even though it may have helped the deceased’s loved ones grieve if they had been able to see them prior to the cremation.They have to complete many education classes each year Just like many other occupations, funeral directors must complete several hours of education classes each year to keep their licenses. These rules vary from state to state, but on top of an already demanding schedule, they show they care by learning how to serve you better. They are passionate people They care about the families they serve to the point where they frequently lobby congress and work to pass legislation that will benefit those families. They work nights, weekends, sun up to sun down, to make sure the family receives the care and attention it deserves. Many of them follow up long after the service to see what they can do to help the family members grieve. If you ever have to work with a funeral director, don’t be quick to judge. They are not just older men with nice black suits anymore. They are women with dark hair and bright lipstick, men and women with tattoos, first generation funeral directors and ninth generation funeral directors. All of whom are there to serve your needs as the loved one of someone who’s died. Lindsay Titus is juggling life as a mom and young professional with the help of coffee. In addition to her full-time job working for the Ohio Funeral Directors Association and soccer/dance mom duties, she enjoys freelancing as a social media marketing consultant. You can find her blogging about her adventures on MorningMomma.com or tweeting @LindsayNTitus.
[Image via Showtime]