When a funeral director sits down with a grieving family, his or her goal is simple: To honor the decedent as the family requests.
Simple, but understated.
It’s easy to think that a family who just lost their loved one will know what type of funeral they want. It’s easy to think this grief-stricken family will know the date, time, where, and how they want said funeral service.
It’s even easier to ask the family, “OK, so what do you want?”
But that’s not how it is. Or goes. Not even close.
A funeral director wears many hats, but in this article, we’re going to wear one of empathy.
The one thing a great funeral director must have above all else, is empathy.
To be able to feel what a family is feeling, and share that with words, songs, service, and in memory, is something that cannot be taught.
A funeral director can only plan a funeral service if they do three things during the arrangement conference:
- Listen without judgment. It is not a funeral director’s place to judge not only the decedent but also the family that walks through the door.
- Let the family draw their own conclusions. It is never a funeral director’s job to tell a family what type of service they must have, or how much their dollar will stretch.
- Share the story. A family will tell you everything you need to know, in order to plan an honorable, memorable, and respectful funeral.
If a funeral director can follow these three things, the rest will fall into place. By having empathy, and listening well, you will always serve a family as best you can.