Don’t be fooled by all the doom and gloom headlines. The stories in the media tend to paint the funeral profession in a negative light. They focus on what’s bad but all too often don’t talk about what’s good.
The thing is, there’s a whole lot of good in funerals right now. So let’s talk about that.
It’s no secret that the funeral profession is facing unprecedented change. Cremation rates are higher than traditional burials. People want unique, nontraditional services. And while change has happened throughout the history of funerals, it’s happening at a faster rate than ever before.
For the bold — those willing to adapt, to take charge and meet change head on — it’s really a great and exciting time to be a funeral director.
You’re a Storyteller
We’ve entered the era where people want personalized, unique, and celebratory ceremonies instead of traditional funerals. But this means more than just a personalized funeral. You get to help write the final chapter of each person’s individual story.
When a death occurs, you sit with the family. You ask them questions. You hear their stories. Together you share a conversation about a human being. That conversation gets reflected in the funeral service you organize. Together, you and the family co-write the final chapter of what becomes a meaningful and healing experience.
Don’t think of personalization as just a trend. It’s really about telling the story of someone’s life.
You’re the New Ritual Writer
Rituals give meaning to life and are critical to the healing process. Rituals also change over time. A funeral 200 years ago wasn’t the same as it is today. And as society begins to view death and funerals in a new light, you get to have a hand in creating tomorrow’s rituals today.
You get to be creative.
Was grandma a committed cook? Was her chocolate chip cookie recipe something magical? Use the recipe to bake the cookies to serve after the funeral service. Print the recipe on the memorial card for family and friends.
The more you leave behind the formulaic, cookie-cutter ceremonies, the more ideas there are for new rituals. And who knows? Maybe 50 years from now people will be writing about funeral rituals that you helped create.
You Have More Tools Than Ever
The one thing that will never change about a funeral director is the service and compassion you bring to each family you serve.
But what has changed? The tools and resources needed to help families. You have more access to these things than ever before. New technology makes it incredibly easy to personalize each family’s requests. The internet allows you to continue to learn, to find new ideas for funeral services, and to enhance your grief and aftercare capabilities.
Write those new rituals for families. Tell their stories. Embrace the change and the challenge it brings. Being a funeral director has never been an easy role, but you weren’t called to the profession because it was easy. You were called because you care.