The Friendly Funeralista

Why People Like Funeral Directors

Posted on: January 27, 2010

One of my major objectives when writing this blog is to minimize the “ick” factor.  By “ick” factor, I refer to the reaction most funeral directors receive when they tell a new aquaintance what they do for a living (no pun intended).  My thinking here is that the “ick” factor can be diminished if people get to know funeral directors and funeral service better.  So, here we go!

 Many years ago, I was handed a copy of an article written by Todd Van Beck and  published in the Canadian Funeral News (yes, we have trade mags in the funeral biz).  After all these years, the message in that short article still rings true today.  I contacted Todd yesterday and asked if I might use his article on my blog and he was very obliging.  Here are a few excerpts:

Despite what the media protrays as the “real” inside story of our profession, and despite the predictable exaggerations and embellishments about how funeral directors “truly are”, the public always rates funeral directors as a profession that is liked, admired and respected. For the last several years, survey results (Gallup, Harris, CNN, CBS) ranking the most and least respected careers have remained about the same. Funeral Directors have been at the top of the list, along with educators and physicians, while politicians and used car dealers are always near the bottom.  

Given the media protrayal of our profession, the question might be asked “how can it be that the public respects and admires funeral directors, but the nedia seems to have consistently missed this fact?”  Perhaps in discovering the reasons for the funeral director’s popularity, we might learn why other careers hold a lesser place in people’s opinions.  I offer three possible reasons why we are liked …

Personal Accessibility

Most funeral directors don’t communicate with people through form letters, glitzy 30-second television ads or by crafted speeches.  People can call a funeral director on the phone and they will listen; they can walk into the funeral home and they are there for them. Families don’t have to make appointments several days, weeks or months in advance, or sit for hours in a waiting room.  Funeral directors are approachable, personal and prompt.  People can talk to funeral directors and come to know them. Funeral directors are people who are present in a community for the long term.  Their freindlinesss is an expression of their commitment to serving their community and personal optimism about life.  Funeral directors are probably the most accessible of professionals; they still make house calls in the middle of the night.

I know that Todd mentioned 3 reasons why funeral directors are liked … I’ll share those with you another day.  If you would like to learn a bit more about Todd visit his website at


2 Responses to "Why People Like Funeral Directors"

in that lovely vein of youth there were three (maybe four) things i wanted to become: writer, fashion designer, funeral director, taxidermist.

i’m totally feeling the funeral vibe lately–thinking maybe it’s a way to mix all the trades. death notes, burial costumes, post-funeral recipes. do you accept interns?


what a lovely job you have.

thank you for leaving a comment and introducing me to your blog.

can’t wait to learn more

Thanks for reading … despite all the bad press, funerals, funeral service and funeral directors are good stuff. Hope you will visit again!

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