A funeral director’s working day is awash with tears. Every day. How on earth do they cope?
Some disengage and just focus on the practicalities.
But most funeral directors find it hard not to make some kind of human connection and, once they’ve established some sort of rapport with their clients, they’re bound to have a feeling for what’s happened to them. Those who are emotionally mature can absorb the grief of others, then let it pass. This, they say, is the way the world is, and they accept that.
Does the ever-accumulating burden of misery ever get too much? The rate of emotional burn-out in the industry is low compared with vets, dentists, doctors and others in caring professions but it happens of course. They’re not overly prone to become drunks or suicides. In this bitchiest of professions, undertaker friends are very good at looking out for each other.
This is how Rupert and Claire Callender of the Green Funeral Company cope: “Engage with it, let it in, feel it and then let it out again. We don’t have formal supervision, but we talk, and often cry. And sometimes we dance all night. We’ve not gone mad yet.”