Meet The Team – Phillip Cuthbert
What made you want to become a funeral director?
I have always been curious about what happens when people die, therefore when the opportunity arose to do my work experience at a Funeral Directors, I thought it would be incredibly interesting.
I enjoyed it so much that I decided it was what I wanted to do as a career. I have always been able to exude a calmness with which to help people through one of their most stressful times and make things easier to bear. Being able to do this for people makes my job incredibly rewarding.
How does an average day start as a Funeral Director?
It always starts with a decent cuppa! Then, if we are not straight out on a funeral, I will be checking through emails and preparing for what needs to be done for upcoming funerals and meetings.
We often have a lot of enquiries and arrangements to sort through which can be time consuming, so I often try to make my way through them.
What are your typical duties as a funeral director?
As a small firm we all have the responsibility to help manage all forms of duties. These can include organising an array of arrangements with families, celebrants, florists, and doctors.
We also have to ensure the funeral vehicles are immaculate, tend to the Deceased and then, of course, conducting funerals.
What are the challenges you face day-to-day?
It can often be difficult dealing with grieving relatives particularly in cases were the death is sudden or untimely.
Currently the Covid-19 pandemic is adding extra challenges regarding the additional safety measures we must follow to ensure all staff and attendees are safe. These measures are also putting immense restrictions on the families at a time when they simply want to be together to grieve and say goodbye to a loved one.
Supporting families is a big part of your job, how do you manage this effectively yet sympathetically?
The family should always be at the centre of everyone’s focus, with care taken to ensure they are consistently listened too. Especially when they wish to share thoughts and memories of their loved one.
By really taking the time to listen to the family, we can not only put them at ease and comfort them, but we can also help make the funeral that bit more special and personal for them.
How do you deal with people’s emotions?
Years of experience is helpful in keeping a calm exterior when dealing with emotional customers.
I always like to lend a kind ear and let them take as much time as they need when making arrangements. Having experienced grief myself, I know how difficult and stressful making funeral arrangements can be. So I always try to remain respectful, understanding and patient.
Do you have any particularly gratifying moments?
It sounds silly, but an immaculately polished hearse and limousine always makes me very happy! It shows our dedication to the job and how professionalism is always at the forefront of how we conduct ourselves.
Also, it is lovely when a family recognises your endeavours with a thank you note.
What is the most difficult part of being a funeral director?
The part of the job I find most difficult is getting called out of bed in the middle of the night to collect a deceased person. This is becoming more difficult as I get older. This aspect can be made all the more challenging when you personally know the deceased and are grieving too. Having the additional responsibility of remaining professional and ensuring the funeral runs perfectly can be mentally and emotionally draining.
Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2020 at 6:05 pm in Latest News.