I often get really strange looks from people about my career choice, and even stranger looks when I explain to them that I really love my job. I work in the death care industry, I am a Funeral Director and Embalmer, and my job brings a lot of satisfaction to my life.
Honestly, I used to lie and say that I was an event planner when people would ask me what I did for a living. That was mostly because I didn’t want to explain to people that I’d just met what I did for a living and why. People can be so quick to judge and be grossed out by things they just don’t understand. It just got exhausting.
But, I started feeling bad about missing so many opportunities to help educate the public about funerals, embalming, and all the other bits that go into why I love this job so much.
My mother died when I was 16, the situation wasn’t great and neither is my lasting memory of her. I won’t dox anybody, but she didn’t look like herself. My mom was a red head and never in her life wore pink lipstick. To our surprise, that’s what she had on! The embalmer didn’t look at the picture we gave him, and we were all too upset to change anything. But, 12 years later that’s all I think about. They say that experiences mold a person, and that one sure did. My mom’s appearance at her funeral was a HUGE reason why I decided to become a funeral director and embalmer. I don’t want anybody else to have that same experience that I did.
When I am given the privilege (yes, privilege, somebody is trusting me with their very special person) to embalm, I take a lot of care and consideration into each step that it requires. Embalming was taught to me as an art form, and that it should continue to be treated that way, and I agree. As I mentioned before, about my mom and my experience; I try my very hardest to give a family back their loved one the way they remembered them.
Truthfully, being in the preparation area, and the process of the embalming is my favorite part of my job. I know it’s an odd thing to think about, but I take pride in my embalming work. Listening to families express how appreciative they are that their loved one looks “peaceful”, or “just how they remembered them” is the most rewarding thing and keeps me motivated to not only continue in this industry, but to continue learning as much as I can, and growing as an embalmer.
My Job isn’t easy, it’s not a 9-5, Monday – Friday, and it’s not sunshine and rainbows. It’s holding people up in their darkest times. It’s understanding the weird aspects of grief. I believe being a funeral director is a calling, and I wouldn’t change my decision to answer that call. -Katie N. Wilson
For more of Katie's Blogs visit her Blog site: https://littletalks851.wordpress.com/author/thelittleembalmergirl/