When did you know you wanted to be a funeral director?
I’m not exactly sure when the whole thought process of being a funeral director started. I knew two funeral directors that sparked interest when I was in high school, but some of my friends say I have been talking about this career since I was a little girl. I just remember all of a sudden looking into schools, applying, and starting my career!
How has this career affected your personal life/dating life as a 20-something-year-old?
My personal life has only really been affected when it comes to time. You sometimes can feel like you’ve been in the funeral home for 24 hours and it can take away from spending time with friends and family. Dating can be tricky with scheduling and finding someone who understands that, a lot of times, work has to come first. My boyfriend is so supportive and understanding. He is always ready to listen to me when I need to talk about the emotions, or just the day I have had. Having strong support system behind you is what is important.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part would have to be when a family tells you “Thank you so much for everything you have done.” It is a great feeling to know that I put in all my effort just to make things a little easier on them. People always say, “what can I do for you?” when someone passes away, and I feel like I am truly doing something so helpful for them.
What do you wish people knew about funeral directors?
I wish people would understand that funeral directors are comfortable with death. A lot of times people will say “Aren’t you scared?” or “Don’t you get sad?” I just feel like a lot of people don’t know much about death and the process that goes into a funeral so they think funeral directors are dark, scary people.
What personality traits do you feel are necessary to doing this job well?
Patience is definitely key in this job. Compassion and understanding are also important because you need to realize that a family is going through the worst time of their lives and aren’t thinking straight. Their actions, words, and requests can sometimes be a lot to take in, but as a funeral director you just have to make everything run as smoothly as possible.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do? Hobbies, interests, etc.?
When I am not at work my most important thing to do is spend time with my friends and family, but also give time for myself. I make time for the gym, and really make sure I am feeling my best. I also have a French Bulldog, Louie, that needs more attention than anything when I am not at work!
What area of your job do you find the most challenging, personally?
The most challenging part about my job is trying to not bring my emotions home. Sometimes, if it has been a rough week, it can really start to take a toll. I have plenty of nieces and nephews, and if children are involved it can get a little emotional for me at times. Bottling up emotions is one thing I try not to do. I also have noticed that in my life outside of work I have a hard time expressing sympathy to people’s smaller issues. I’ve had to work on realizing that everyone is battling something, even if it seems minuscule to what I see on a daily basis.
What’s your favorite emoji?
I would have to say the girl with her hands up shrugging her shoulders. I feel like I am doing that a lot on a daily basis so I can relate to it.
Has working in the mortuary field changed your outlook on life, or how you live your life?
I try to really enjoy everything I do on a daily basis. Life really can change in a second, and spending my time just being happy is very important to me. I’ve learned so much in this career, and I have realized being happy is all that matters.
What do you do to unwind after a particularly tough day on the job?
I actually really enjoy going home and getting my housework done. Work can feel non-stop, and to be able to finally know I have nothing to do other than relax is a great feeling!
Are there any experiences you’ve had thus far that have changed your perspective or changed the way you do your job?
I have realized that I cannot tell the future. You try to plan as much as you can but it can change way too fast. I just take my job step by step and make sure I am giving 100% effort.
What is the strangest request you’ve received?
Definitely being asked to take a picture of someone with the deceased!
How would you describe your experience as a mortuary science student working toward your career?
Being a mortuary science student was one of the hardest, and rewarding accomplishments I have ever gone through. It was so hands-on, because of the apprenticeship, it was easier to understand everything you were being taught. The teachers and fellow students all wanted everyone to succeed and were there to help every step of the way. FMC was the best choice I could have made for myself.