Funeral Directors: What They Do and What You Should Know

Funeral service planning is a complex task.

The process may feel overwhelming, especially for families planning services for the first time, but this is where the funeral director steps in.

The primary job of the director is to work with you and your family to cover every stage of planning and arrangements so that you can have the exact service you want.

“Funeral directors are diligent in what they do,” says Ryan Brooke of Oakwood Memorial Park in Ottawa.

“They are very hardworking, caring, empathic people that help families during their worst time.”

Funeral directing is a special occupation. Here are some things that a funeral director does, and what may be helpful for you to know about them and their role.

Funeral directors handle all the important details of the service

The main focus of the funeral director’s role is to complete the important (and required) documents in order to obtain a death certificate. They will also arrange the intricate details, secure the proper burial plot, and communicate the plans for the service(s). Often, but not always, they write the obituary too. The director handles all these tasks either alone, or by working with you and your family.

Funeral directors are specifically trained, creative, and thoughtful

Funeral directors must undergo specific training and education in order to become licensed. After attending college, they have to complete an approved mortuary science program, and then they go through a one to three-year apprenticeship, followed by a state licensing exam.

Once they begin working as a funeral director, they often take special requests for certain service details or ceremonies, and make sure they carry them out. This may include special themes or finding unique decorations for the service.

Funeral directors view it as their calling – not a job

It is very common for funeral directors to be second, third or even fourth generation in their profession. Many feel the need to carry on their family’s tradition of helping others in their time of grief. So much goes on behind the scenes of funeral services, and the director is the one who orchestrates them all.

“The job of a funeral director is much like an iceberg,” Brooke said. “People see the top of the iceberg (the visitation, the casket or urn, the service, the burial), but what the public doesn’t see is all the rest of the work, planning, phone calls, coordinating and ordering to be sure everything is put together in a very short amount of time.”

For any questions or more information on the role of the funeral director or how they will be able to assist you in your time of need, visit our website or call 815-433-0313.

Oakwood Memorial Park

2405 Champlain St