Friday, September 3, 2010

Chat With Rosemary Meier, Female Funeral Director

Autumn Funerals, Cremation & Burial

At fifty, Rosemary Meier changed her life direction by working with death.

Pamela: Are more people choosing cremation over burial? How about green burial?

Rosemary: Over the last decade there has been a rise in the percentage of cremation over traditional burial. We do about 90% cremation at our funeral home.
Several families have asked about green burial. We do have a natural casket in our showroom that was handcrafted in Portland, Oregon. It was made from sustainably harvested woods, and no toxic chemicals or glues were used.

Pamela: What compelled you to work in the funeral industry?

Rosemary: When my grandmother died of cancer in 1970, I was amazed at how beautiful she looked at the viewing berfore her funeral service. Since that day I had wondered how the embalmer had transformed her features. Years later I enrolled at Mt. Hood Community College in the funeral service program, graduating as a funeral director and embalmer. I feel that my calling is to meet with families and help them through the process of making funeral arrangements.

Pamela: What are the challenges in your profession?

Rosemary: The greatest challenge is to keep up with the fast pace and meeting the needs of families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Pamela: What are the misconceptions about your line of work?

Rosemary: One misconception is that funeral directors sit around all day waiting for someone to pass away. That is very far from the truth. To be a funeral director, you need to "multi task." We need to answer the phone, do a tremendous amount of paperwork, record data on the computer, make arrangements with churches, cemeteries, airlines, etc. Funeral directors meet with families and help them plan services, make memorial folders, work with the Veterans Administration, and submit obituaries to newspapers.

Another misconception is that all funeral directors are somber men that are dressed all in black. Many women as well as men are funeral directors in this day and age. Funeral attire can be gray, navy blue, and neutral as well as black. On the whole, Funeral directors are ordinary everyday people assisting families to make their arrangements, and to move forward in a positive way toward closure.

Thanks Rosemary!

Got a question for a funeral director? Anything you're dying to know? (Pun intended) Ask Away!


  1. Excellent read, Pam! Interesting about the high percentage of cremations... wonder if the choice to cremate has anything to do with the economy since it's less expensive than burials.

  2. For me, I like the idea of cremation. Family members, if they so choose can take a bit of you with them, or they can sprinkle your ashes in a place you loved. One of my favorite scenes in a movie is in the Big Lebowski, where the ashes are in a Folger's can and they're blowing all over the place. This may sound kooky, but I had all my cats cremated. I couldn't handle thinking of them being tossed in a landfill. Plus, if I buried them in my backyard, i was worried a neighbors dog would come and dig them up.

  3. Funeral directors and their staff will be sensitive to how you may be feeling and you will be paying for their help and guidance, so use them to the full and ask as many questions as you want. They are experts in all aspects of arranging a funeral and will guide you through the decisions to be made.


Comments are welcome and appreciated!