Many a times, my curious friends will ask me this question. ” So Gabriel, what does it take to be a funeral director? Is it very tiring to be one and what are the requirements to be one.”
So today, lets sidetrack a little from pre-planning and let me share with you what it takes to be a funeral director.
1. You need to love this job.
As much i hate to say this, being a funeral director needs a lot of compassion and heart. Its not about how to deal with the dead but how we deal with the people who are alive. We have to handle their emotions, look at their body language and handle them they best way we can manage. The dead will never get up and complain the you about the make up being too heavy or the clothes are not straighten well, but the people alive will feedback to you. Whether the decease will appear in your dreams and feedback to you remains a question to be answered but so far, i have not gotten any sort of feedback from them.
2. You must always plan ahead.
Sometimes when we get busy with funerals and wakes and down with manpower, time management is super important. As funeral directors, we need to know 2 most important things, because without these 2 important things, it can be very chaotic and result in a lot of horrible screw ups. The last thing we want is to screw up the timing for a funeral as it can lead to very serious consequences. The 2 things are, the traffic and the fastest route to either the crematorium or Lim Chu Kang Cemetery. At times we do get request for a detour from family members to drop by or pass a place where their loved one used to go, work or stay so. At times we face bad traffic jam and we need to find an alternative route. Sometimes things or request happen the last minute so we always plan ahead and anticipate on the worst case scenarios.
Over the years, i seen cases of funeral directors getting involved family issues, arguing with the departed family and friends. I even seen a particular funeral director feeding unnessary information to family members just to prove to everyone he is extremely knowledgeable.
One must remember you only have 1 chance to it well and most of time, our clients are either return clients or through referrals. We can share our knowledge but only if the family members ask. Always follow the wishes of family members even if it is not correct unless they ask for your opinion. Do not get involved with their arguements or fights. Always advice when needed but give them a choice to choose.
So these are basically my choice of requirements to be a funeral director. I hope you get a clearer understand of what it takes to be funeral director. What i mention today is really the tip of the iceberg. There are lots more than just the 3 i mention. For more enquiries, u can always ask me or any of my fellow funeral directors and we will be most happy to share with u. Have a great week ahead.