There’s a margin for error in just about every job industry. As most tasks are performed by human beings, and human beings tend to be governed by their emotions, mistakes are bound to happen.
As Funeral Directors, we don’t have the luxury of slipping up the way that other professions can. We have to be perfect. Especially when each and every misstep carries the possibility of psychologically scarring a family for the rest of their lives.
That being said, mistakes WILL happen. It’s inevitable.
Whether it’s a misspelling on the death certificate or forgetting to order flowers for a service, what you do next is what matters most. Transparency is the way to go when you mess up.
I’ve had to have many uncomfortable conversations with families over the years, and one thing I will say is this— you’ll never make that same mistake again. In my opinion, there are very few feelings that are worse than knowing you’ve let down someone who has trusted you with something they only have one chance to get right.
Even if a family smiles and nods after an uncomfortable conversation, a heartfelt apology, and even a forgiving hug, the damage has been done. The trust has been broken. We’ve used up our one chance.
That’s all we get.
Fortunately, with each and every family, we get a new chance to get things right for them. A new chance to learn and grow.
What if we walked through everyday interactions as if we only got once chance? Would we be kinder, or more cautious? Would we take the time to really savor each and every detail of our day?
Or would we rush through it?
The reality is, you only get one chance. What you do with it is up to you.