When I accepted the role of office manager at Zoeller Funeral Home in 2018, I knew it would require me to give more than I had given at any job prior. What I didn’t know is how much it would give back to me.
My biggest priority is keeping our ship sailing smoothly, whether that means completing paperwork, scheduling pickups or helping set up a service—all of it is equally important, and I do it all with love.
Though I am not always the main contact for families, each family is special to me. Through my own experiences of loss, I have learned the importance of truly honoring our loved ones, and I want every family to forever hold onto the beautiful celebration we created, especially for their special person.
The relationships built within these walls truly are built to last a lifetime. The bonds we form help us create some of the most beautiful celebrations you could ever hope for.
One of my favorites was a Star Wars fan’s sendoff. It included stormtrooper floral arrangements and a surprise lightsaber display. These details so touched the family that our staff was asked to attend several other family events to celebrate the loved one. There is no greater reward than to be invited into a family's circle.
My work at the funeral home has become much more than a job to me, and when I am not in the office, I am usually planning or attending a community social. I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many people in the community through the various events the funeral home hosts during the year—but there's one I look forward to most.
Brookdale Birthdays is a monthly cake-and-ice-cream social at theassisted-living community. At the first birthday party I attended, I learned of a woman who wouldn’t be able to participate in the celebration because of dietary restrictions. That didn't feel right to me, and I wanted to do whatever was necessary for her to attend. I collaborated with her nurses to come up with a solution.
Though this lady is nonverbal, the light in her eyes and smile on her face told me how happy it made her to be part of the party—and that brought me so much joy! She and I have become friends and look for each other at every event. These are the kinds of relationships I have been so abundantly blessed with through my funeral home work.
When you walk into Zoeller Funeral Home, my hope is that I have met you before and that our embrace is that of friends, not strangers. I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to impact lives in even small ways. I never underestimate the power of a genuine smile or heartfelt hug, and I am always here to serve you.
If you know someone who works in a funeral home, ask them about their work. What they tell you may surprise you—and feel free to share my story with someone who's also working to make a difference in their community.