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I'm a family-run funeral home operator, I get the same question all the time. Having grown up being referred to as "the undertaker's daughter" I swore I'd never have anything to do with the funeral home business until I agreed to take it over from my dad so he could retire. Having been at it now for a little over a year, I honestly can't see myself doing anything else right now. The feeling of running a successful business combined with providing a people-oriented service is amazingly satisfying.
@SaoirseS I can see that, but what about all the heartbreak you see
@SwitchGirl. That's the way it looks from the outside, and it was the same reason I had no interest in it growing up. Who wants to be around sadness and grief all the time, right? But from the inside, it's more often about dealing with people who've lost a loved at the end of their natural life, so it's expected. If it's death as the result of a long, terminal illness for them it's more of a relief. They grieve in their own way, but they celebrate the life their loved one had and focus more on the positive impact they had on others. Most of the funeral director's role is taking care of all the working parts, mostly behind the scenes, and staying out of family business. We're in the background if needed, but aside from handling, moving, and transporting the remains we are more facilitators - a lot like the role of a wedding or party planner. We make sure all the things that need to happen actually happen, on time, and the way they're supposed to go, and help make it a personalized service (s), and we handle the coordination with cemeteries and crematories, etc. Yes, some things get to us. For me, I can handle removal of the deceased from about anywhere. I can handle carrying the wrapped remains of a stillborn baby or one that lived only hours after birth to the removal car, and I know some things are not meant to be for whatever reason. As long the order of things remains reasonably intact, it's all good. Young kids aren't supposed to die before their parents, and a parent is not supposed to die when kids are young, but it happens. The only ones that take an emotional toll on me are suicides, especially teen suicides. That's where our emotional support dogs do double duty, comforting me as well as the family.
@SaoirseS Thanks for taking the time to answer, emotional support dogs, that's very interesting. I.. Imma follow if you don't mind