Being a Funeral Director in a small family business such as H Kemp and Son Limited is very different to being part of a team of Funeral Directors in a large company. There is no room for demarcation of roles and responsibilities, you are involved in and responsible for every aspect of arranging a funeral and looking after the deceased and their grieving family. I have tried to cover the varied aspects of the role in the hope you are able to get an overall view of what is involved.
6.00am - We take a call from a bereaved family asking us the attend and remove their loved one to our premises. Two members of staff attend the residence as soon as possible and provide the family with guidance on the next steps before removing the deceased to our private mortuary.
8.00am - We open up our premises in Cottingham, attend to daily tasks such as reverting the landline back from the out of hours number and check the diary for today’s schedule and appointments.
8.30am – The days floral tributes begin to arrive. We check the orders to ensure they are correct and represent the familiy’s wishes. The flowers are placed with the relevant caskets ready for the day’s services.
9.00am – We attend to our Jaguar Hearse and Limousine ensuring they are spotless both inside and out and ready for the day’s funerals or bookings by other Funeral Directors. Deliveries of orders of services arrive and have to be checked and placed with the flowers ready to take to the service.
Before the day gets too busy we contact Doctors surgeries regarding paperwork for forthcoming cremation services and arrange for Dr’s to visit our chapels to see their patients.
10.00am - Meeting with a bereaved family wanting to arrange a funeral service, this meeting takes a little over an hour and the Funeral Director must listen very carefully to what the family would like and ensure that where possible their wishes are put into place. He will spend this time getting to know the family and make informed suggestions regarding the type of service and the type of person most suitable to conduct the service on behalf of the family. It is usually at this meeting that the type, date and time of service is discussed and confirmed.
Following this meeting the Funeral Director will then start contacting third party providers regarding the arrangements to be made. This will include the local florist to order the flowers, someone to conduct the service, the local newspaper for an announcement and possibly a printer for orders of services.
11.30am – Begin to source music and service content for each family we are representing, complete any paper work required for cremations due to take place during the following week.
1.00pm – A delivery of coffins and urns arrive. These need to be stored before an up to date inventory can be made. Following delivery handles need fitting, linings must be fixed in place and cloth trim attached
3.00pm – Welcome a family coming to visit their loved one in our Chapels of Rest. Be available to answer any queries about the funeral service they may have and provide support during their visit, which can be very difficult for them.
4.00pm – Work in the mortuary preparing the deceased in our care for viewing by their families. This involves washing, shaving (if male), styling hair (if female), applying natural make up and dressing in clothing provided by their family. It is not always necessary to embalm, and this procedure is undertaken only if absolutely necessary. Our aim is to ensure that everyone looks at peace and is as natural as possible.
6.00pm – Office closes, but the phone line is transferred to an out of hours number to ensure a member of staff is always contactable by phone.