Because death is such a taboo topic, funeral directors often don’t get the recognition they deserve. And when they do get some recognition, the media tends to unfairly focus on the negative, or about how funeral professionals should change and learn to be more like other industries.
But here’s the thing. Funeral service isn’t an industry — it’s a ministry. Funeral service is like no other profession out there.
We often hear about how funeral directors can learn from wedding or event planners. But there’s a lot that an event planner — and others — can learn from a funeral director.
So let’s look at the valuable lessons others can learn from those committed to funeral service.
Keeping Calm in Tough Times
This is a great lesson that everyone should learn from funeral directors. A funeral director has one of the hardest jobs out there, helping families confront the loss of a loved one. Losing a loved one is never easy, especially in the case of an unexpected death or loss of a child.
During these times, we look to funeral directors to be a pillar of support and guidance. Funeral directors are able to juggle so much during emotionally difficult times. They offer families emotional support and compassion. But they also look at the bigger picture. They create ceremonies. Make final preparations. They organize the funeral service — focusing on every little detail. It’s no easy task to stay focused when emotions run high, but funeral directors make it look easy.
Families Come First
When it comes to service, funeral directors put families first. No matter what. In other professions, people are viewed as simply customers. But in the funeral profession, people are viewed for what they are — human beings and families.
Funeral directors bend over backward to provide each family they work with the absolute best. From emotional guidance to planning advice and unique memorial options, funeral directors are there for families through the entire process. They work with families long before a death, and long after one too.
Dealing with Misconceptions
Cops love donuts. Investment bankers are greedy.
Some jobs just get stereotyped. But out of all the jobs out there, funeral directors are perhaps the most misunderstood. There is a lot that people don’t understand about the funeral profession. And for many, death is still a taboo topic to talk about.
That’s why people tend to stereotype funeral directors as gloomy, dark-suit-wearing people obsessed with death.
A lot of funeral directors have learned to live with all sorts of misconceptions. And there are even some funeral directors out there challenging these stereotypes — showing that funeral professionals are ordinary people called to do extraordinary things.
Listening is Everything
Funeral directors are some of the best listeners around. They know that hidden in the stories families tell are the small details needed to create beautiful funeral services for a loved one. The best-personalized funerals all start with a funeral director who knows how to truly listen to their families. The lesson to be learned here is to listen. The world would be a better place if we all learned to listen as well as a funeral director.
Create New Rituals While Honoring the Old
Funeral directors are masters of traditions — both new and old. They help craft unique memorial rituals for families. And at the same time, they are experts at the classic rituals and traditions that have helped families heal for decades.
With so many changes happening in the funeral profession, funeral directors guide and help families with their choices. Whether it’s a funeral tailgate party that honors a football fan or a traditional religious service, funeral directors excel at making sure that the experience helps families heal.
What are some lessons you’d like to share with others? Add them in the comments below!