Funeral Professionals: How to be a Hero in Your Community


It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s a … funeral professional?!

When you think about the funeral profession, superheroes are the last thing on your mind, but I believe that anyone can be a hero, no matter what their job is. According to an inspiring guide to heroism I read recently, being a hero takes having a goal, hard work and perseverance – all qualities that most funeral funeral professionals have. And as I read further, I got to thinking about how funeral professionals could embody the three heroic types – the comic action hero, the instant hero and the social hero.

So without further ado, here’s how to unleash your inner superhero:


Hero Type 1: Comic Action Hero


Image: Loren Javier


The ultimate comic action hero is someone like Superman, with and interesting back story, a mission, a costume (it’s not cool, but you can’t have everything) and an arch enemy. How would this translate to the funeral profession?

Find Your Superpower

Okay, so you may not have Superman’s super strength but your funeral home has its own superpowers:

  • The ability to help client families at the time they need you most.
  • The opportunity to assist them to cope with grief and to celebrate a life lived.
  • The chance to personalize the funeral service for client families so it’s a true celebration and reflection of their loved one.


As a funeral professional you help people craft a unique celebration – that’s your mission!

Make Your Words Count

Comic action heroes are mostly about the action; unless they’re saying “take that, you evil villain” there’s not a lot of ho-hum conversation. But when they do have something to say, it really counts.

The lesson here is to make your words count as you talk to client families. It’s a delicate balance: while you don’t want your conversation to sound like it’s come off a production line, your experience will tell you the best words and phrases to use to give comfort to client families.

Dress to Impress

Superman somehow manages to get away with wearing a skin tight outfit and underwear on the outside. That definitely won’t work for you. But his costume had one thing going for it; every time someone saw the big S on the front, it inspired confidence. Think about how you can do the same for client families with the clothing you and your staff wear to work. It’s a lot to ask, but the ideal outfit has to respectful without being too stuffy, because that can make you look unapproachable.

Find and Fight The Arch-Villain

Every superhero needs and arch-villain – who’s yours? If you ask me, most funeral directors are fighting the ordinary funeral and the direct cremation. The NDFA says 71% of families don’t want a traditional funeral and 61% want some kind of personalization. Deliver that, and you’ll definitely be a hero to your client families.


Hero Type 2: Instant Hero

 Independence Day


The second type of hero is the instant hero. Think Bruce Willis in Die Hard or Will Smith in Independence Day. In both cases, the main character was put into a tricky situation and then had to save the world. How can you rise to the challenge in the funeral profession?

Harness Your Intuition

Three key traits separate the instant hero from everyone else. First, there’s the ability to sense when things are going wrong. As a funeral director, developing an intuition for what client families need and responding to that will help make your funeral home more successful. You’d be surprised what you could learn if you keep your eyes and ears open as they visit your funeral home – or your website. Whether it’s information, comfort or the perfect personalized funeral service, sensing what’s needed and then delivering it will raise your hero profile.

Be Social

You know the other thing the instant hero does? The instant hero is involved in the community and constantly surrounded by people. That’s why it’s a good idea to embed your funeral home into your local community. Think like a wedding planner and make your funeral home a place that works for other community events. Your visitation rooms can work for gatherings of all kinds, whether those are fundraisers, weddings, memorial services or other community get-togethers. Hosting events will put you top of mind when people locally want to arrange a funeral service.

Be Quick to React

The third quality of an instant hero is quick reactions. (OK, sometimes movie heroes seem to have a lot of bullet-dodging luck and more lives than a cat, but you get the point.) Things always, always go wrong – and the instant hero is the person who steps up to fix the situation.

You can do the same. No funeral service ever goes exactly according to plan. But you still want client families to have the celebratory experience to memorialize their loved one. As a funeral professional you can be a hero by reacting when things start to go wrong and taking immediate steps to salvage the occasion for client families and make sure the experience is as seamless as possible.


Hero Type 3: Social Hero


Image: Sean MacEntee

Then there’s the social hero: someone who really cares about making a difference, either in their sphere, or in the wider world. No movies this time, but think of people like Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa or any other humanitarian. Or think about that favorite teacher who was totally invested in the success of her students. How can you be a social hero at your funeral home?

Show Your Passion

Social heroes need a few distinct traits. First, they are passionate about what they do and are not only open to change, but actively promote it. You may love what you do, but do client families know that? Show your passion in everything you do, from your personal interactions with families to your online marketing.

I know it seems strange, but with all the emotion invested in celebrating a life lived, a funeral home is really a passionate place. Be a hero by bringing that passion to work with you every day so you can create the best damn personalized funeral services that any client family has seen. And if you need a little help, try our Life Tributes personalization software for that added touch.

Connect to the Community

The social hero is also totally invested in their community and society, working tirelessly to benefit others. One way you can do that as a funeral director is to offer client families a social memorial website as part of the funeral service. It’s a great way to connect family members and friends as they celebrate a life lived – and you’ll be a hero for making it available.


Being a Hero is a Full Time Job


Social heroes never give up on their passion, just instant heroes keep fighting to fix things and comic-action heroes continually battle arch-villains. Being a hero is a full time job, but it will help connect you with client families and make your funeral home a pivotal part of the community. So I challenge you: be heroic. You won’t regret it.


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  1. metin yılmaz

    good sites.. Thanx