5 Reasons Why I Love Being a Funeral Director
Posted February 14, 2018
7 min read
The following is a guest post written by Lauren LeRoy, also known as Little Miss Funeral, a licensed funeral director in New York.
There are many reasons why a person may choose to start working in our profession. Maybe they became interested in the field after watching My Girl when they were young. Or quite possibly it’s that they come from a long line of funeral directors and seek to follow in the family’s footsteps. Maybe they have no family connections, but felt the job as more of a calling. Or maybe they were just looking for a job and the funeral home down the road was hiring.
No matter how difficult different aspects of this job can be, I’m positive that there is one thing that anyone who has worked in this profession will tell you; there is a certain satisfaction that you receive from helping someone through a loss.
For all of the reasons why this job can be difficult, there is a counter reason why being a funeral director is so fulfilling.
Here are the top five reasons why I personally love being a funeral director.
1. You meet a lot of amazing people.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I meet the most amazing people; I just so happen to do it during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
In the eight years that I’ve been licensed, I’ve done it all. From transferring a person from where they passed away back to the funeral home, to embalming and leading funeral processions. But for myself, personally, my favorite moment is the arrangement conference. It’s during this meeting that I get to sit down and start to build a relationship with the family that I’m serving.
I’m able to gain their trust as I prove that I am there for them and their needs. At these meetings, I ask a lot of questions regarding their loved one. I’m able to learn about the lives that they’ve had and their personal stories. To be able to get a glimpse into others lives is a true blessing that I never take for granted.
2. You appreciate your own family.
I have a mother and father who are both still living. If that’s not a blessing in itself, I want to take it one step further. In today’s day and age, you meet all different kinds of families and situations and it really makes you appreciate what you have in your own life. I have a friend who lost her mother a few years back.
Every time I see her, she shares stories about her mom and tells me ways that she’s raising her children so that they can have memories of her, too. Not a day goes by in my own life when I don’t say a prayer of thanksgiving for my parents. I realize how blessed I am (even when they nag me! because there are others out there who would give anything to have a certain family member yell at them one last time.
In a different breath, I appreciate how quirky and crazy my own family is! Families are weird. They are complicated, and yet still woven together so perfectly that you sometimes wonder how it is that you all can function together.
There’s no such thing as a perfect family. There’s just our families. Our beautiful, messy, crazy families. If you stop and take a moment you’ll really be able to count how blessed you are for whatever family, blood or not, that you have in your own life.
3. There’s no such thing as a ‘boring’ day at work.
Stressful days? Yes. Busy days? You bet! Boring days? Never! You’re waking up at 3 AM to go on a house call. You’re meeting a family to go over funeral arrangements. You’re moving caskets into the viewing room. You’re doing hair and make-up on the deceased.
Our days are unpredictable and always changing. This kind of schedule (or lack of) can definitely make planning things in your personal life difficult, but it also makes your work day fly by. I rarely look at a clock, and if I do, it’s to make certain that I’m not running late for a funeral service! All jokes aside, since we don’t work your average 9 to 5 I can guarantee that my days will always be different!
4. You don’t take things for granted.
My husband works for a bank. He has off weekends and all holidays. My work schedule is…well…a little different. Working as a funeral director you learn to be grateful for any and all weekends that you spend away from the funeral home.
And holidays? Any holiday that I’m not working is a gift in itself. That’s the thing about death; it doesn’t work around your timeline. You also learn to appreciate a night of uninterrupted sleep. That’s a crazy statement to make, especially when you don’t have children and babies who are waking you up.
But you also learn to appreciate the bigger things, which can often be mistaken for the little things. Every single day that I wake up next to my husband I am lucky. Every single day that I talk on the phone with my mother is a gift. Heck, every single day that I wake up, I thank God! Death doesn’t come for those who are old and gray. It comes for all of us, whether we’re ready or not. Death has taught me to stop putting things off until tomorrow, because tomorrow is not guaranteed. And death has taught me to tell those in my life how much they mean to me today, just in case they’re not here tomorrow.
5. You’re there for others when they need you the most.
If there is one thing about this job that gives me the most satisfaction, it’s being able to be there for others during a time when they need it the most. To be that person to guide and comfort those who are grieving, is one of the purest and most amazing gifts you could ever receive. We are all human. That means that we will all lose someone that we love in our lifetime. We will all know a heartache that grief can give, and because of that, we can all show empathy to others. Going through your own grief opens your eyes to the pain that others feel. And even though our journeys are all different there is one thing that is the same; we all have loved someone and lost them.
To be able to be there for others when they’re going through this journey is so sacred. To be able to hold someone’s hand and usher them through the funeral process makes you feel like you’re making a difference in the world. And to be able to care for their deceased loved one is a true privilege that not many people get to have in their lives.
It’s difficult work. It’s emotionally exhausting. But being a funeral director isn’t just a job, it’s a constant reminder of how fragile our lives are and a reminder to appreciate every day that we have. Funeral director is a title that I’m proud to wear and a profession that I honestly love. This profession has taught me many lessons, and if you’re going to spend your life working, you’ll be better off spending it working at a job you love.
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