Friday, February 05, 2010

What Are You Dying To Know?

I have come to terms with the fact that Jeremy's job as a funeral director is quite unusual, and is either fascinating or extremely weird to people who find out what he does.

For the most part, people are genuinely curious about the ins and outs of his job. Jeremy's sister has a riddle she uses with her communication class to see if they can guess Jeremy's profession. It goes, "My brother drives around in $100,000 cars, people follow him wherever he goes, and he's invited into strangers homes. What is he?" To my knowledge no one ever guesses funeral director!

We are completely used to people asking questions about what Jeremy does. It's perfectly fine, and Jeremy would rather someone just ask him their question than just keep wondering about something. Here are some of his regular questions:

Does he "do" everything? (Answer: He's licensed to "do" everything, but currently he only directs funerals and works with families.)

Does he drive the hearse home? (Answer: NO. If he brings a company car home it looks like a minivan with the back seats taken out. You would never know! When I used to work at a senior center and Jeremy would ask if he could drop by and visit me at work, my answer was always, "It depends on what are you are driving!" I couldn't have a hearse pull up at a senior center full of old people. They would've just died!"

Did he go to school for that? (Answer: Yes. He is duel licensed which means that he is a funeral director with the ability to embalm. I had to help him study during school and I know more about embalming than I could ever want to know!)

Is that what he always wanted to be? (Answer: No. He also has a bachelor's degree in marketing.)

How did he get started? (Answer: He started off in pre-need sales and moved into funeral directing when he realized how much he liked working with families.)

Does he like it? (Answer: Yes. Most of the time. It is a VERY high stress job and he stays extremely busy, but he really does like helping make things easier on families that he works with. God led him into this field and he's very good at what he does and he takes very good care of his families.)

What does Jackson think he does? (Answer: We've told Jackson that Daddy's job is to help people when they are sad. It works for him.)

Does he wash his hands when he gets home from work? (Answer: You better believe it!)

Does he have his funeral planned? (Answer: We're crossing our fingers for the rapture!)

Do the two of you talk about funerals a lot? (Answer: We've discussed some things, but mostly I've just informed him that if he buries me with socks, pantyhose or shoes on that I will haunt his sorry tail!)

Is it true that more people die around the holidays? (Answer: Yes, it's true. Jeremy can't take any vacation November thru December because of how busy they are that time of year. That stinks with us having an anniversary in December!)

If you have a question that you've been dying to get answered, pun totally intended, I'll get the resident funeral director of Wade's World to answer them, because let's face it, I've got connections!

And now that he's been working in this field for 6 years, we've heard all the funeral director jokes. They were probably funny the first time we heard them, but after you've heard them incessantly several times, they lose some of the humor. We try to laugh anyways so the person telling the joke doesn't feel like a total goob.

For instance: "I bet your husband will be the last person to let me down!" or "How's business? Dead?" (hardy har har) or my personal favorite, "I bet people are just dying to meet your husband!"

Yeah, we're used to the questions and jokes, but I don't think either of us will ever be used to the nights when Jeremy has to take call. On those nights (usually 5-6 a month) any calls that the funeral home takes are sent to our house via an answering service. Mostly these are calls letting the director know that someone has died, but you would be shocked at how many people call funeral homes in the middle of the night with the most random questions such as, "I'm supposed to go to a funeral tomorrow at your funeral home. Can you give me directions?" or "Can you tell so-and-so family member that they can't come to the funeral?" or the calls at midnight, "What time do you open tomorrow?" For each call that comes in after hours Jeremy and my phone rings. Call nights are especially nice on nights like last night, when the phone rang 12 times between 9:00 at night and 5:00 this morning. Jeremy finally gave up on sleep and headed to work at 5:30 this morning to get ready to head out of town.

Needless to say, we're both dead tired today!" (Hardy har har!)

So yes, it's quite an usual job that Jeremy has, but at least he's in a profession with guaranteed job security! If you ever wanted to know something about his job, now's the time to ask. Have a great weekend!

5 random thoughts:

Marie said...

That is so cool that he moved into funeral directing because he likes helping the families.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Does he own the funeral home, or is it conjunction with someone else? That's the only question I could come up with, mostly because, being a pastor's wife, I know A LOT about the funeral business. I remember you telling me once you get a lot of flowers at your house too. ;-)

Wade's World said...

Jeremy works for a corporation that owns 4 funeral homes in our area. He works at the biggest and busiest location of those 4. We have no plans on owning a funeral home any time soon, but who knows what might be in the future!

Kay said...

I know it's a very difficult and stressful job. How could it not be?! I'm glad he's found his calling. Not many people can say that. : )

When out little one died, we had called very early in the morning and a wonderful gentleman came to our house (in a black Suburban, thankyouverymuch!) before 7am in a suit and tie to 'do his thing'. He was so kind and professional. We were so thankful for the way he 'handled' us and the very sad situation we all found ourselves in.

Here's a question for ya! When my kids were little, they had fun going to daddy's work to see him and his co-workers. Do you take Jackson to see his daddy 'at work'? : )

Wade's World said...

Kay, I'm so glad that you had someone there to help you through such a difficult time. A kind and professional FD is a blessing!

To answer your question, we do occasionally take Jackson by Jeremy's work to see his coworkers, but we don't let him into any of the areas where he would run into a family. Jackson's favorite part of visiting Daddy at work is climbing up and down the spiral staircase in the foyer!

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