little miss funeral

an average girl working at your not so average job

Tag: funeral home

Lauren, read this when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

I work for a mom and pop funeral home. Meaning, we do not have a very large staff. There are two funeral directors (the owner and myself) and we have a trade embalmer. I have a handful of part timers and one full time associate. We do close to two hundred calls a year.

For the past two weeks, the owner has been away on vacation (his first in about a year and a half, so it was deserved). For one of those two weeks, my funeral associate and husband were both out of town. So not only was my work life turned upside down, but I had no support in my home life. And these past two weeks, everyone in our town decided to die.

Well, not everyone, but the funeral home has been busy. Very busy. And I was left in charge, since I have the license. At first, I was feeling very overwhelmed and very nervous. I had never been left alone for such an extended period of time before. And after getting three death calls the first day in, I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to handle it.


But then something funny happened.

I did it.


Somehow, after that very first, busy day, some sort of calm had come over me. I have no idea how it happened, but I didn’t stress out. And the next day, when we got another call, I didn’t stress either (or the next day….or the next day). I mean, sure, I have been working very long days, (and getting very little sleep..) but I was organized and I got everything done. These past two weeks, I think I really found my confidence. I love being a funeral director and I love what I do, but I always have people to fall back on. I have a great team. This time, I had to make the decisions and I had to really be the boss. And everything ran so smooth.

Everything ran better than I could have possibly imagined, actually. So I’m writing this post for me. I’m writing this to remind myself that I can do this job and I can do it well. So Lauren, the next time you are feeling like you’re drowning, remember how you handled these weeks. You can do this, because you’ve been doing it.

You are stronger than you think.

Going crazy.

It’s so funny to me, the saying that goes “feast or famine”. When I first started out in the business, I used to die a little inside every time an older funeral director would say that, because I thought it was such a cliché.

But I said it the other day.

Does that make me an old funeral director?

There are some days I sit and wait for the phone to ring. But  there are some days when I wish it would stop. Like last week, when the funeral home got twelve calls in three days. Which for some firms, is normal. But for my family run funeral home, was like doing a months amount of work in, well, three days.

And maybe next week, I’ll wait for the phone to ring again.

It’s a constant game. It makes me crazy. It keeps it interesting.

But you know what they say, it’s always feast or famine.