Common Misconceptions About Funeral Directors

By: Ian Elliott
Friday, November 6, 2015

Many funeral directors struggle with a variety of assumptions, misconceptions, and stereotypical generalizations about their line of work and their role at a funeral home. Below are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about funeral directors:

Funeral directors are only in it for the money

While this is partially true for anyone who is gainfully employed, most funeral directors make only a reasonable salary compared to other professions. In fact, generally it takes a deep level of commitment and compassion in order to do what they do, which often includes working long hours and working on public and spiritual holidays. Like firefighters, doctors, nurses, and many other professionals, funeral directors have to work while others are paid to have a day of rest. For example, when someone dies on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday, we expect there to be someone available at the funeral home to answer the phone and assist us.

This, in addition to the fact that funeral directors are often dealing with emotional and grieving family members, means that their work not only requires a significant sacrifice of their time, but also of their mental and emotional capacity as well.

Funeral directors prey on people’s vulnerability

The assumption that funeral home directors take advantage of emotionally distraught family members as they struggle to make final arrangements, and attempt to manipulate individuals into spending more than they ought to, is a false one. In fact, many funeral directors insist that the principal mourner not be alone when making important financial decisions, such as casket purchases and funeral and burial arrangements. Most encourage other family members or close friends to assist the principal mourner in order to avoid making unwise or emotionally-driven decisions in the moment.

Funeral directors are as aggressive as salespeople

If funeral directors wanted to go into sales, they would have chosen a different profession. By and large, funeral directors serve as care givers and are there simply to assist and facilitate the wishes of the family. If funeral directors behaved in a manner of "selling" on a regular basis they wouldn’t stay in business very long, as word would travel and they would be forced to close their doors and move to a more suitable profession, like selling cars instead of caskets.

Funeral directors feign their emotions

Most of us do not expect funeral directors to mourn for our families as we do, and by and large they do their best to be compassionate, but also to do their jobs and assist with the appropriate arrangements after a loved one dies.

The most important thing that a funeral director needs to be is professional. A good funeral director won’t joke or laugh during important moments, such as the service or during the burial. The worst thing for a family is to see their funeral director joking with a colleague while at the gravesite.

Funeral directors are experts on death

While many funeral directors have university degrees and have studied subjects pertaining to their profession, generally they don’t know much more about death and dying than the average person. A license to become a funeral director entitles them to embalm bodies and to sell and make funeral arrangements as needed. This does not make them the authority on grief counseling, financial and estate planning, or other issues. Their job is to assist you as best they can in the professional ways that they have been trained to do.

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

Do Some Women Serve As Pall Bearers At A Funeral?

Conventionally, you will see men as pallbearers. However, women can also serve as pallbearers at a funeral. It depends on who volunteers for it and whether all the family members are on board with ...

4 Unique Funeral and Burial Customs around the World

When it comes to burials and related rituals, each community has certain practices, some of which are centuries old. We at Arbutus Funeral Service are a credible and well-established funeral home t...

Should Your Child Attend a Funeral?

Most parents prefer not to expose their children to the unpleasant realities of life, such as death and funerals. They fear that they will upset or stress their children in some way. However, many ...

Irrevocable Pre-Need Arrangements

A pre-need arrangement or funeral services package is essentially a pre-paid agreement between an individual and a funeral home like us at Arbutus Funeral Service. It contains details of all the fu...

The Importance Of A Funeral Procession

Long rows of slow-moving vehicles, enormous crowds, and renowned individuals come to mind when thinking about funeral processions. However, many people follow this practice during a conventional fu...

Meaningful Gift Ideas for Someone Who Has Recently Lost Someone

Some of the greatest gifts you can offer a mourning friend are your companionship, love, and presence. If someone close to you has recently lost a loved one, you can assist them by being present&nb...

How to Write a Condolence Letter

People send condolence letters when they can't attend a funeral service or personally visit the mourning family to express their condolences. At Arbutus Funeral Service, we feel this is a...

How To Plan A Meaningful Memorial Service

When the family of the deceased gathers to pay their respects at a funeral service, it’s a way of showing respect. This activity serves as a source of consolation and solace for the mourners. A sea...

Creating New Family Traditions After A Loss

The death of a loved one can disrupt your family's structure. After the loss of a family member, small routines and traditions that formerly existed become painful. At Arbutus Funeral Service, we b...

A Complete Understanding of Funeral Pricing

Funerals can be expensive, particularly if you want personalized services. Many people don't know what's included in funeral costs. At Arbutus Funeral Service, we have seen that often they pic...