Train Up An Apprentice

**Forward from the Editor: Matthew Morian

“The focus of Millennial Directors has been to share Millennial viewpoints on the funeral profession. I feel that expanding that focus to allow other generations to share their viewpoints directly with Millennials is also incredibly beneficial to the growth of our profession. On that note, I introduce one of our Gen-X counterparts to share his perspective: Dylan Stopher.”

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You know what’s crazy? If I were to ask 100 funeral directors from different firms how to train a student or apprentice, they would give me 100 different answers. Those answers would vary greatly in scope and level of intensity. Some would be focused on arrangements and some focused on embalming; some looking into paperwork and some looking at professional demeanor.

The best part is that none of these are wrong. The worst part is that all of them are not given equal focus. So I’d like to propose a set of specific steps for standardized training within any facility for students, apprentices, or new funeral directors in your organization.

Please know, these are only suggestions.

Let’s begin with the obvious “Rule Number One” for all funeral professionals: the family is in charge. Continue reading

Yoga: A Funeral Director’s Coping Mechanism

For some of us in the funeral profession, we speak of our career choice as a sort of calling.

The first half of my career I just kind of muddled through. Let’s face it, mortuary school didn’t really prepare me for the situations and the families that would walk through the door. That kind of experience only comes with time.

There are some families that come to us with a sense of relief and peace, but there are those families that sit across from us that are broken and damaged. As a poised and strong funeral director, I carry them through the hardest days and weeks of their lives.

But as a human, I am broken with them.

Continue reading