5 Stories To Reaffirm Your Love For The Funeral Profession
Article originally appeared on funeralOne
A day in the life of a funeral director can run you through a roller coaster of emotions and challenges, from the high demand that your families place on your time and attention to the unrelenting nature of your work. You put in long hours and know that there’s no such thing as a day off when you run a funeral home. At the end of the day, the funeral profession can feel like a thankless job, and you may even find yourself feeling emotionally burnt out.
But even if the families and communities you serve can’t always articulate it, your work is important and makes a significant impact on their lives. Funeral directors who give their heart and soul to their families are the architects of healing and the masters of celebration, and it shows. Not sure you’re really leaving that much of a mark? Take a look at these stories that will reaffirm your love for what you do and the difference you can make in people’s lives.
Lorna Johnson was a lot of things to a lot of people, but everyone could agree on her unstoppable love for the Star Wars series and Halloween costumes. The director of her funeral joined Johnson’s family in honoring this passion by dressing up as one of her favorite characters and making sure her services were personalized – this made her funeral a true celebration of a unique life lived.
What you can do: If you’re directing a funeral for a loved one with a lifelong hobby or beloved activity, tie some references to that passion into the service to tell their story with a truly personal touch.
When Jerry Billings, a former machinist in the U.S. Navy, died on Christmas Eve, it appeared no one would attend his funeral. Billings was homeless and without family and friends when he died. However, a local Memorial Network rallied together to create a social media campaign that attracted more than 750 guests to his funeral to honor his life. Every day, so many funeral directors exhaust their resources and themselves to serve their families and give proper services to the life lived.
What you can do: An essential component of hosting a funeral service is appropriately honoring and recognizing the loved one’s triumphs and achievements in life. Make sure the service and products you provide captures the true essence of the life lived.
During her uncle’s funeral, one little girl sat quietly by herself while mourners circulated the room around her. The director of her uncle’s services took a breather to talk with young Elysia, providing her the unique comfort she needed, acknowledging her feelings of loss, and even offering her a special chance to celebrate her loved one.
What you can do: Remember that not everyone mourns or grieves in the same way, and keep an eye out for those who need a certain kind of support but might not know how to ask for it. You play a very special role in their loved one’s service and offer more comfort than you may realize.
A new member of the profession faced a challenge while coordinating his first services for a child. He took to crowdsourcing the Internet when his search for the perfect picture failed him. The child loved the character Optimus Prime and this young director went to great lengths to make sure that love was represented during the child’s very personalized and carefully unique services.
What you can do: Funeral services do two things: celebrate and honor the life of a loved one, and provide much-needed comfort and support to their families. By highlighting the most special and beloved things about the life lived and making them the focal point of your service, you can accomplish both.
Tonya Alexander and her family remember one of her father’s longest-standing jokes: nosily questioning every funeral service he noticed, and insisting on a marquee of sorts when it was time for his own service. When that time came, the family’s friend and funeral director Dennis George draped a custom-made sign over his own to bring a smile to the faces of Tonya’s family members.
What you can do: Help families understand that funeral services don’t need to be standard or without personality. Encourage them to fulfill even whimsical last wishes or celebrate their loved one in any way they see fit—even if it goes a little against the grain.
A common theme in all these stories? Funeral directors going beyond the call of duty and personalizing each service to the life lived, giving families a unique experience and highlighting the things that make each person special and memorable. You too can give your families the opportunity to share in a customized service that highlights their loved one’s most loved traits—and you don’t even need to crowdsource the global Internet to do it.
The f1Connect Website Platform from funeralOne is a simple and user-friendly way to provide your families with a unique memorial page that celebrates a beautiful life lived. Our websites can help your families heal by providing them with a guiding source for sharing in meaningful moments and heart-warming stories of their loved ones for years to come.