little miss funeral

an average girl working at your not so average job

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The funeral that is happening right now.

I’m sitting in the lounge of the funeral home, my back against the wall as I listen in on a memorial service which is currently in progress.


It is difficult for me to pick up on every word being said, but I hear some voices breaking into sobs and at other times laughter erupting.


This person, who has brought so many people together, reminds me once again why funerals are important. People are gathered together to mourn the fact that someone they love is gone. But throughout their sorrow they are also laughing about the good times that they shared. Remembering the little moments that made monumental memories.


These people, who may have nothing in common besides for the fact that the deceased made an impact on their lives, are all gathered to support one another during a very difficult time. They are here, right now, to show support for the family and to remind us all of the most important thing in life.


The time I was yelled at on the phone.

A few weeks back a funeral associate of mine was talking to a gentleman at a visitation about prearrangements. I was not available at the time to sit down and speak with him, so  he was given a GPL and a promise that I would call and answer any questions he had in detail the next day.

So I called him. Except, he didn’t answer the phone. His wife did.

A lot of times, when I call people about prearrangements, I don’t like to initially say where I’m calling from. I’ve been in situations where family members ask me not to disclose that I’m from a funeral home, for one reason or another. Even though I was not told to withhold that information here, when this woman answered the phone instead of identifying myself right away, I just asked if the gentleman was home.

That’s when the woman identified herself as the wife and asked who was calling.

“My name is Lauren and I’m calling from the funeral ho-” was about as much as I was able to get off my lips before the wife let out a huge sigh and exclaimed, “Give me a break!”

She then proceeded to yell at me over the phone, about how her and her husband have no time to talk about preplanning because they’re so busy and how she repeatedly told her husband not to talk to a funeral director and how dare I call their home phone number.

I couldn’t even muster one word in to assure her that it was alright and they didn’t have to meet with me before I heard a ‘click’ and the line go dead.

The point that I’m trying to make with this story isn’t about proper phone etiquette, but instead that the only reason I called in the first place is because someone had questions.

I won’t tell people I’m a funeral director when I’m not working unless someone asks. One reason I don’t go around sharing my choice of careers is because when one says that they work in the death care industry people always have questions. Which is great; I honestly love talking about death. But sometimes I need a break. Sometimes, I just want to enjoy a moment for what it is rather than spend that time talking about work.

Therefore, I want to also say that I don’t spend my spare time calling people asking them if they have plans for their corpse once they die. If you ask me your options, I will have a conversation, but I won’t bring up the subject on my own.

I do not know the circumstances behind the reasons why the wife treated me as she did. Maybe something had just happened before she picked up the phone that put her in a bad mood. Maybe a family member was sick and she couldn’t face talking with a funeral director at that exact moment. But it’s not my job to force people to confront their mortality.

I cannot make everyone comfortable with the inevitable. I do not try to force my own beliefs on others when it comes to how they care for their dead. The only thing that I ever hope for, is that people at least have a conversation with those they love.

I am a resource. It is my job to serve those who seek my help, but not to force myself on those when my knowledge is not welcomed. I wish that I could have explained myself and apologized to the wife before she hung up the telephone. But, just maybe, our brief encounter allowed for her and her husband to have a more meaningful conversation on their own time.

Things I think about at 10:03 PM on a Sunday.

A profession or a calling?

I was doing laundry when all of a sudden this question popped into my mind.

I am a funeral director, and often I hear that this is not a job, but a lifestyle, since I don’t typically work the average 9-5 (and by typically, I mean never) but is what I do day to day, a calling?

A strong urge toward a particular way of life or career; a vocation. When I google the definition of calling, that’s what comes up.

A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation. When I google the definition of vocation, that’s what comes up.

But I’m not sure. I love what I do and I’ve wanted to be a funeral director since I was very young, but when I think back to what drove me into this field, I don’t think of a calling per say, I think of my grandfather. I think of his death and funeral. I think of wanting to help people. And I think of how I’d feel if I just walked away from it all.

I don’t know if what I do can be defined as more than just a job. But I know that what I do is definitely stamped upon my heart.

a whole lifetime ago.

I’m sitting in my bed drinking a Lime-a-Rita, which isn’t even half as satisfying as a real margarita, listening to Kate Nash and going through my old flickr account.

From about the time I was nineteen till twenty-one(ish), I was really into taking pictures. I don’t like to say I was into “photography” because I knew nothing of the craft. Instead, I looked through a lens and clicked away. I did, however, think I was cool enough to put the photos online for the world to judge. Who knows, however, how harshly they were judged because I’m pretty sure I needed an audience first.

Anyways, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m feeling a little low right now. I’m looking at these pictures and to me, they seem so raw and exposed. Looking at these pictures, I feel like I’m nineteen again, in college, feeling totally lost but free at the same time.

This was before I was a funeral director. This was when I was a wannabe funeral director. (mortuary school, you really weren’t that bad.) This was when I was honestly just a normal girl.

This was seven years ago and it feels like another lifetime.

And now I’m suddenly feeling overwhelmed once again at how quickly time goes by and how precious this life truly is.

Here ya go. This was me.

When the human overpowers the funeral director.

The past few days have been difficult.

You see, the past few days I’ve had a couple of different arrangement conferences that, well, for lack of a better term, kicked my ass.

They have been physically and mentally exhausting. For my fellow funeral directors out there, you know what I mean. Just down right draining. I had one arrangement that took me over three hours. The family had loads of questions that I did not mind answering, but at the end of our meeting I was done. If I would have had to meet with more families that day I would not have been able to because I had given my all to this one. The next day I had a double arrangement, for a husband and wife who passed away naturally a day apart. Needless to say, after that meeting I was drained as well.

And to top it all off at midnight, I received a pricing call from a gentleman who tried his very best to get my services for free. And who persisted that he wanted to get my services, you know, for free.

After a half hour on the phone where I told him that yes, we could help him and yes, he’d have to pay us I hung up feeling so very very tired and defeated. I yelled at my husband when he tried to talk to me all the while getting back into bed. I pulled the blankets over my head and cried.

There are days when this job is difficult because I do not have an ounce more of energy or compassion to pass along. Days when I don’t feel whole as a human and ponder how in the world I’m going to be able to serve another. Days when I just can’t do it anymore.

Somehow, I am still shown more grace that I could ever deserve. Somehow, I crawl into bed only to wake up the next day and keep moving forward. When I feel like I can’t do it anymore, that’s when I’m able to lean on the support from my husband (even when I yell) and coworkers (even when I yell more) and I keep moving forward. Because what I do matters.

Sorry for being absent. I’ve been taking time for me.

You know how it goes.


Sometimes I wish I had a job that didn’t matter so much. Sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much. Being a funeral director can be very hard, sometimes. 

December 24, 2015: Christmas Eve.

I woke up this morning to a death call.

My first thoughts were selfish, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to work Christmas Eve, but very quickly, my thoughts changed to sadness. I thought of the emotions that this family must be going through. The day before Christmas. Simply put, it sucks.

I haven’t been myself, that is true, but I pray that I will never lose the compassion that I am able to show families even when I’m experiencing dark times myself.

As I type this I’m in the middle of getting ready for a family get together. In a few hours I’ll have a glass of wine in my hand and my husband will be putting on a Santa suit for my little cousins. We’ll laugh and enjoy each other’s company.

This Christmas season has not been easy.

But I still have so much to be thankful for.

December 19, 2015: Tired.

This is another one of those days guys. 

I woke early to work a funeral and when I came home I took a five hour nap. Now I’m about to head to bed for good for the night.

This happens, every so often when all I want to do is sleep.

So I’m going to listen to my body and do just that.

December 17, 2015: A little bit of nerd (with a good dash of friends.)

I’m currently sitting in a movie theatre waiting to see Star Wars the Force Awakens with my husband and some of our best friends. This is something that my husband has been waiting for for at least the past year. There’s so much excitement in the air (we are here two hours early, after all.)

I needed this night. 

I’m thankful that I have an amazing group of friends to support me, to stand by me and to make me laugh. These are the moments that memories are made of. This is the good stuff.

December 14, 2015: (No power.)

I’m typing this from my phone because we currently don’t have any power. There was a loud noise and what looked like fireworks going off over some trees nearby. You can hear the fire trucks and see the flashing lights of emergeny vehicles  from our balcony.

I’m currently drinking a glass of wine, once again with my dog at my feet and my husband next to me.

This isn’t too bad.