If funerals are about remembering a life, stop limiting yourself by thinking about the deceased the way they look today.

Imagine the impression you’d leave on attendees if you organized a funeral service that acknowledges that, while today, Helga might look like this:

but that for a large portion of her life she might have looked like this:

Girl With a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer

In fact, until her last breath, Helga probably thought of herself as the woman in the second picture. 

Most of the people in the audience for the funeral don’t think of themselves as old, even if they’re quite elderly.

I recently attended the funeral of a 94-year old member of my extended family.  I did not meet this woman until she was already in her late sixties.  In short, she had always been  “old” to me.

Imagine my surprise when her memorial video started out with a picture of her in a wispy, flowing dress, languishingly leaning against the front fender of a shiny 30’s era hotrod on the beach.

The black and white photo was worn, but the look on this young woman’s face was pure mischief.  Was this the “old lady” I thought I knew?

We must make a greater effort to let our potential clients (and that’s what funeral attendees are) know that we design services to celebrate who they STILL are.

Now, before you complain that you have little influence over the type of services your clients will choose, let me remind you of your title:  FUNERAL DIRECTOR.

Not “Funeral Suggestor” or “Funeral Order Taker.”  Your job is to direct.  You CAN influence a family.  You can shape the type of service the choose.