Meet the Team – Christine Crompton – Funeral Director

December 13th, 2023 in Meet the team

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about being a Funeral Director, but were too afraid to ask!

When someone dies it’s one of the most challenging times we have to deal with. Talking about and dealing with death is still a taboo subject, it’s not something that we would normally like to discuss. But Funeral Directors deal with this every day, helping families through the most of difficult of times.

Christine Crompton – one of seven Funeral Directors here at Scotmid Funerals – gives us an insight into her role and outlook.

How did you become a Funeral Director, what made you want to do the job?

I worked in the hospitality industry for many years and have always enjoyed dealing with people. I started as a Funeral Arranger and progressed through to a Funeral Director. It’s an amazing job. It is such a privilege to look after people when they need help at a very painful time.

How much training do you have to become a Funeral Director?

We have a comprehensive 12 week training for all staff to go through to learn how to arrange a funeral first, with a further 6 weeks of training to be able to conduct funerals. There are also external qualifications we can take, which I am proud to say I’ve just passed with a distinction.

How did the Covid Pandemic affected the way you carry out funerals?

It was a very difficult time not only for ourselves but also for the families we looked after. One of the challenges was the restrictions on funerals that were in place.  This included the number of people who can attend a funeral, where funerals were held and social distancing measures to name but a few.  Throughout the restrictions we gave choice which can assist families in keeping the service as close to what they would have known before the pandemic. Many took the opportunity to embrace technology, allowing families to attend services virtually through webcasting.

Do you ever get spooked?

In the early days, yes you can get a bit ‘spooked’ as you put it. You quickly learn and appreciate that you are dealing with someone’s relative, so you just concentrate on the care you give. Our team treat everyone as if they were a member of their own family.

Have you ever had any strange funeral requests?

You can get some unusual requests. I’ve learnt that there’s no such thing as a traditional funeral, they are all different. We’ll try to accommodate whatever a family wants; as long as it’s legal! The strangest request so far would be when we were asked to book a funeral for someone who hadn’t died yet! Not a question we get every day.

Have you ever had a bump with the funeral cars on way to service?

Not that I’m willing to admit to! Only kidding!! No it’s not happened to me yet!

Are you ever surprised what some families want put in the coffin before it is closed?

Yes, I’m often surprised. With a cremation there are certain things that can’t be included, as the crematoriums have to comply with strict emission rules. With a burial, almost anything can go in the coffin. The usual things are lovely photographs and letters from the family. More unusual items have included a lottery ticket (hopefully not a winning one!)

What do people say when you tell them you are a Funeral Director?

People don’t seem to know what to say at first. A taxi driver asked me what I did for a living and he was speechless! (A first for a taxi driver!). People are inquisitive about the role. They usually ask about getting emotional. We do of course; it can be difficult to hold emotions in, especially if you’re dealing with the death of a baby or a very young person. But it is an incredibly rewarding role; helping families to celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

Christine Crompton Funeral Director