Albert A. González is a second-generation funeral director at González Funeral Home and Crematory. His family opened the business in Dallas in 1977, and González grew up with tremendous respect for his dad's work. Here, he shares why he decided to follow in his father's footsteps into the funeral profession and what his career means to him.
All through my youth, I shadowed my dad at González Funeral Home and Crematory. My dad was empathetic, professional and creative, and I saw him at his best every time a family walked through the heavy oak doors of 3050 North Stemmons Freeway.
By watching him and listening to how he talked to grieving families, I learned just how deep his compassion went. I wanted to be just like him. I still do—and not just because he was excellent at caring for families with the utmost dignity when they were at the funeral home.
His commitment to others went well beyond the walls of the business. No matter what a family needed, my dad found a way to help. He felt that was the best way to serve the community he loved. This is where I really try to be like him, honoring and protecting every family who trusts in me.
Whether it means helping plan a loved one’s funeral, directing a service or being a hand to hold, it’s my job—but more importantly, it's my privilege—to provide families comfort and peace of mind. If a family can’t make it to the funeral home, I go to them. If they need a ride, I drive them. And if they need someone to talk to, I listen.
I will always remember a mother who'd lost her young daughter to suicide. When she couldn't come to the funeral home to get her daughter's death certificate and memory book due to a medical condition, I got in my car, bought a plant and met her at a hospital in Arlington. About 30 minutes into our visit, her spirits had lifted and her mind was at ease.
I will also always cherish the bond I built with an older gentleman who had just lost his wife. He used a wheelchair and was unable to find a ride to the funeral home that day, so I drove across town to his home, where together we made final arrangements for his beloved wife. Our meeting lasted into the evening, and I could tell he was relieved at the end of it and felt closer to his wife and her memory.
It’s the small things in life that make the biggest impact. Simple gestures can convey a great sense of humility or appreciation to families, but knowing I’ve made a difference gives me peace of mind. Knowing I've guided and protected someone the way my dad would have brings me an enormous sense of joy.
Being a compassionate human being is the essence of being a funeral professional, and being a second-generation funeral director is something in which I take a lot of pride. It’s not an easy job, but caring for others in their darkest hours, taking care of every detail as they say goodbye to their loved ones is so rewarding.
If you know a funeral director, I hope this gives you a little insight into why they do what they do. And I invite you to share my story with others in the hopes that it inspires someone.