Common Misconceptions About Funeral Directors

By: Myles O'Riordan
Friday, February 26, 2016

Many people have preconceptions of those involved in funeral arrangements. Between a combination of misinformation and horror figures in pop culture, many believe that funeral directors are either ghouls, shadowy figures emerging only at night, or relentlessly morbid nihilists. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we want to break these preconceptions today.

Undertaking is an Emotional Job

One thing many people do not realize is that the funeral director usually knows the deceased or the family. Taking care of the deceased is rarely a personal thing for the director. They see it from an outsiders’ perspective, detached and without judgment. Yes, there will be times when it is personal to the funeral director especially if they were connected to the deceased or it is a particularly violent death, but this is rare. This is a job that requires a certain degree of detachment, and although empathy is important, you need to be able to draw a line between the job and yourself. Funeral directors do not deal in death, just its aftermath.

The Funeral Industry is Morbid or 'Dark'

Many funeral directors either laugh or sigh when asked this. Sometimes, people join the industry because they are of the belief that it is morbid, or creepy. They usually leave when they realize how mundane the job really is. You are providing a service that everyone will need at least once, like working with the postal service or in a retail store. Undertakers are rarely morbid people, rather the opposite. Daily reminders of the sanctity of life usually inspire you to enjoy and share your time on this Earth.

Funeral Directors are Experts About Everything to do with Death and Dying

While it is important to appear knowledgeable of your position, regardless of your chosen career path, to work as a funeral director or in a funeral home rarely requires specialized training. While there are exceptions, in many countries you will rarely require anything more substantial than the equivalent of a high school diploma to work in a funeral home. Although there are some positions that do require specific training, such as embalmer, all you really need is empathy and respect for the dead and their mourners.

The Smell

Given that they deal with the recently deceased, many people believe that funeral directors and their employees carry a strong odor. This varies depending on a massive amount of factors, such as the state of the body, the chemicals used in embalming, and what equipment is used. Yes, there is the occasional body that is in worse condition than others, or that has leaked, or that perhaps has even begun to decompose, but the most common odor that people detect is of the chemicals used to preserve or clean the body, not the body itself.

At the end of day, funeral directors are simply people who provide a universal service that everyone needs. Yes, there are some who live up to the stereotypes, but the majority are there to offer a sympathetic ear to mourners and a respectful goodbye to the departed.

If after reading this blog you have any questions, please do not hesitate to Ask a Funeral Director.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

How To Plan A Meaningful Memorial Service

Memorial services are a great way to honor a deceased loved one and help family members gain some solace. People can celebrate the life and contributions of the deceased by sharing beautiful memori...

Dealing With Sudden Death

It’s never easy to deal with the death of a loved one, even if the person had been ailing or was very old. Sudden death can be even more challenging to manage and the pain can be almost unbearable....

What is a Green Burial?

Funeral ceremonies have undergone quite an evolution over the years. Traditional burials are the most common among people. These are followed by the newer, lesser-known cremations and green burials...

Creative Ideas for Funeral Services

Funeral services are a great way to reminisce your loved one with all the close family and friends. It is an event to celebrate the life of the person while grieving their loss. We, at Wagg Funeral...

Social Media Meets Funeral Service- The Pros and Cons

Social media is intrinsically woven into the lives of most people in the modern-day. It isn't uncommon for families to use these platforms even when there is a death in their family, and they make...

Funeral Etiquette 101

A funeral is essentially a solemn affair, as there are many grieving individuals there. So if you are attending one, this is something you need to keep in view, and the etiquette that you follow sh...

Is Live Streaming the Future of Funeral Services?

Communications technology has advanced considerably over the years. It has infiltrated almost every field, allowing people to work from home, attend online classes, communicate with friends across ...

Funeral Terminology

Funeral terminology can be very confusing if you’re not a part of the industry. Many families struggle to understand them, which can hamper the planning process. At Wagg Funeral Home, we are always...

Cremation Facts - Everything You Need to Know

Cremation is an ancient way of disposing of a body and it is still prevalent in different cultures, particularly in Asia. The rite has become popular in the West in recent years as well. At Wagg Fu...

Building The Perfect Video Memorial For Your Loved One

A video memorial is a good way to highlight the deceased individual's life, personality, achievements, and contribution to society. It can be a beautiful tribute that showcases your love and feelin...