A Known Response to an Anonymous Funeral Rant

Monday, September 16, 2013 • by Elizabeth Meyer

Photo Source: Mortician Salary

An anonymous funeral director went on a very public rant about the flaws of his industry on Reddit around a month ago, which recently started getting passed around the Internet. Many have asked if I wrote it.  I did not. Though most take my word for it, some still have doubt. To be fair, I don’t fully blame the nonbelievers. It’s a known fact that I have issues with this taboo industry and I’m thrilled to have attention brought to the questionable commonplace practices.

Yes, there are funeral directors who thrive on the ignorance of the consumer.  As the author points out, every person should be aware of the FTC rules! Try to remember the few tips that the writer touched on: In most cases embalming is not necessary, you can bring your own casket, everything you purchase needs to be broken down on the General Price List (GPL), and YOU are the one who can/should decide what items you want. The FTC is there to protect you. Let them! The suggestions in this article are certainly spot on.

The issue that I take with this tirade is that I would never make such scathing generalizations.  While I’m not surprised to hear that these disgraceful practices exist, the author is doing funeral directors an injustice by painting them in such poor light. Like any other industry, there are good and bad people in it. There are some extremely morally reprehensible employees who manipulate the consumers.  There are also, however, men and women who, on a daily basis, sacrifice their time, relationships, and mental health for the sake of their suffering clients.

I suggest you all read this blog post, Ten Reasons I’m A Funeral Director by Caleb Wilde. it’s another perspective from a very honest funeral director. Not all employees are scheming and terrible; remember that.

The author correctly reminds readers that when we are in need of funeral services, we are emotionally unstable and will likely make less rational decisions. This is why I always stress to PLAN AHEAD! This is the most important advice you can hear. If you go into the process before it’s necessary, you protect yourself entirely. You can take the time to ask questions and think about what you want. Without emotions, you will be able to rationally assess the situation and create a funeral that is entirely to your liking. 

The author reminds us that “this is a business.” Therefore, he is a business man- he wants you as a client. He claims that he will suggest you take your business elsewhere if he does not think you will spend; that’s highly doubtful. Do not be afraid! This is a two-way transaction and you need to stand up for yourself!

I most certainly did not write the aforementioned article—I’m also a bit more tactful when it comes to this issue—but I’m glad that the writer did because anything that gets people talking and planning is a good thing.

Please let me know if you have a negative view of funeral directors and why in the comments. I really want to know!