Trauma tends to make people religious.
“Pray for my family, my grandmother is in the hospital.”
“My brother was in a car accident. Your prayers are appreciated.”
Even if you’re not particularly spiritual, when facing mortality, it’s only natural to start to consider what comes next.
This is a completely common behavior. More often than not, families have a trusted member of the clergy that they call when a death has occurred. A priest, pastor, deacon, rabbi…someone.
This is a practice that I encourage. However, things start to get a little hectic when the family brings their preferred cleric to make the arrangements with them.
“We’re going to need a separate room to do the dressing and hair and we need to be sure that she has absolutely no makeup on.”
“OK Pastor Davis, we can certainly set that up. Mr. Jeffries, is that alright?”
Mr. Jeffries was the husband of the deceased, and hadn’t said very much throughout the entire meeting. I wondered why.
“You can talk to me.” Pastor Davis said.
I no longer wondered why, and suppressed an eye roll.
“We’re also going to need a proof of the programs and make sure that the flowers are pink and white.”
He just kept going.
“Pastor Davis, I think it’s admirable that you’re supporting this family and being so forthcoming with suggestions to make this ceremony memorable. However, I need to hear it from Mr. Jeffries before I am able to finalize any other the details.”
He was still pushing.
“The church is very specific on what we allow. You are to coordinate with me.”
So I pushed back.
“ Pastor Davis, is it your name I’ll be putting on this contract?”
“No, of course not.”
“Then please, feel free to step out for a break and allow me to finish discussing details with Mr. Jeffries.”
He stood in a huff, and stepped out of the room.
Funeral Directors are here to protect the families we serve. Sometimes, that means having difficult conversations with authority figures that we normally aren’t supposed to challenge. We are your champions—your support team, if only for a short while.
We are your warriors.