A Calling to Serve


Dear Funeral Director:

Why did you become a funeral director?

Thank you,

Melanie R., Stamford, CT

Dear Melanie,

It’s a common saying in the death care industry that becoming a funeral director is “a calling” as much as it is a profession. I think that saying has a lot of meaning and truth to it because of the sensitive nature of the work and the emotional elements involved in the work. It may also have to do how the profession curtails the private lives of funeral directors because of the round the clock/on call nature of the business – and not for a huge benefit, monetarily speaking. For me, I became a funeral director because I felt that the profession provides a necessary service to people in need, and does so at times when people are the most vulnerable and going through, what could be, a very emotional time in their lives. Being of assistance to the families in my community and being a stabilizing and guiding force for them in a time of need is a very rewarding experience for me. I also like how each day is different and how multi-faceted the responsibilities of a funeral director are. I like how my job requires me to be a scientist, an artist, a sales person, an event planner, a floral arranger, a grief counselor and a marketer all rolled into one. This multi-faceted aspect of being a funeral director in a family owned funeral home really keeps things interesting for me. I enjoy all of the aspects of the job and I feel it keeps things fresh and new – without the risk of burn out due to repetitive work responsibilities. Mostly though, I became a funeral director to help the people of my community deal with a difficult time in their lives; a time of loss, change and uncertainty in most cases. Helping folks find a way through a tough time is an extremely rewarding experience for me and something that I actually enjoy doing.


Leonard W. Santora, LFD

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