Making a little difference in the big picture
ROB Tindall can pinpoint exactly what he thinks is the essential ingredient for organising the perfect funeral.
It is, he says, establishing a rapport with a bereaved family. This creates a situation where the clients feel comfortable enough to ask for whatever they want – and that helps ensure the celebration-of-life service they are organising together will be a unique and fitting remembrance of their loved one.
“After a funeral, when someone tells you that you made them feel comfortable; made the whole process easier for them… that’s real job satisfaction.”
“As a funeral director, some of the most important skills you can have are just being human, and looking after people,” says Rob, 47, who works across Co-op Funeralcare’s Otley and Ilkley funeral homes in West Yorkshire. “Our job is about taking someone by the hand and arranging everything for them.
“One of the nicest things is when, following a funeral, someone tells you that you made them feel comfortable; made the whole process easier for them. That’s real job satisfaction.”
Dad-of-two Rob has worked for the Co-op for six years, having moved back to the UK from the Bergerac region of France, where he and his family had been living. However, his interest in the funeral business stretches back a lot further.
“I’d been fascinated with it from childhood,” he says. “I remember my granddad’s funeral and how hard people found it to speak openly about death. As a funeral director you’re a sounding board, and you learn what makes people tick – it’s fascinating. We tell someone’s story, and hopefully make a little difference in the big picture.
“I’ve organised all sorts of funerals over the years, including a burial at sea during the Covid-19 crisis, which was so peaceful,” Rob adds. “There was also another memorable service during the lockdown where the small number of people attending all held the same piece of ribbon to link them while social distancing, and spoke from the heart about the deceased. Sometimes the simplest funerals can be the loveliest.”