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It takes a pretty unique individual to dedicate their career to helping others during some of the worst days of their lives. Although no two funeral directors are exactly the same, there are definitely a handful of qualities that the very best possess in order to help make them good at their jobs.
It’s one thing to feel sorry for a family who is experiencing loss. It’s a whole other ballgame to be able to know not just the depth of their many emotions, but what they need, when, and why they need it, in order to help alleviate stress and unnecessary grief. Although a funeral director can’t feel or know exactly what another individual is going through, they have the experience and knowledge to know how to best comfort them.
Patience and excellent listening skills go hand in hand in funeral care. A funeral director must spend many hours with a grieving family, listening to them talk about their loved one, what they want for their funeral or memorial service, and be there for them when they just need space for someone to talk to, to lean on someone, or to just not be alone.
Planning a memorial service is very similar to any other kind of event planning, and requires juggling many roles and many details. It’s important to be able to remember everything while keeping things on track. On a day a family and friends must say goodbye to their loved one and the days leading up to it, even a small thing that slips through the cracks can feel monumental to those grieving.
Decades ago, funerals tended to look exactly the same, depending on your religious faith. Today is much different. Families want to honor and celebrate the unique personalities of their loved one, and want their memorial services to reflect their interests, hobbies, and passions. Oftentimes that means thinking outside of the box, problem solving, and getting to use some of your own creative skills to help families have the most meaningful service they need.
People who work at a funeral home know how to “go with the flow.” Death doesn’t only work from nine to five, so neither do we. That means sometimes needing to work in the middle of the night, on weekends, and on holidays. It’s also important to be easily adaptable because the needs and requests of each family can vary greatly. One funeral or memorial service is not going to require the same details, time, or solutions as another.
When we say strength, we don’t mean muscles. We mean courage. Funeral directors have to deal with situations that can be very difficult, even for people who deal with death every day. The death of a child, a tragic accident, or a death that reminds you of a loss of your own can deal quite an emotional blow. Despite these situations, however, a funeral director must tuck his or her own feelings away in order to tend to the needs of the family and their community. That doesn’t mean you must be a robot or can never show emotion. Funeral directors are human, too. It just means continuing to be a pillar of support despite your own personal feelings.
Funeral care isn’t easy, but it’s said that the toughest challenges bring the greatest reward. Do these traits describe you? Learn more about available opportunities at French Funerals & Cremations.