DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Ever since I started my job working at a funeral home, my boyfriend has been acting a little weird around me. He won’t say it, but I think he’s grossed out by what I now do fulltime.
I’ve tried explaining to him that most of what I do is helping out with arrangements, serving as a host at viewings, and handling logistics on funeral days. I have nothing to do with the preparation of the deceased for the viewing, beyond having to sometimes transport them to the funeral home.
Still, it seems to be bothering him, and that’s becoming a problem, because I happen to like my work. I feel I have the right kind of personality for dealing with the loved ones, and both funeral directors have told me how well I’m doing. I make good money, have generally decent hours, except if I’m needed to collect the deceased during the overnight, which has only happened once so far.
How do I make my boyfriend less freaked by my new job? I can see this becoming a career, and I do not want to have to choose between him and the work that gives me more fulfillment than any other job I’ve ever had. --- MY JOB IS NOT GROSS
DEAR MY JOB IS NOT GROSS: It’s fairly normal for some people to be squeamish about death, especially if they have limited experience dealing with it. Personally, I applaud your willingness to enter a field that often suffers from a bevy of misconceptions.
If your bosses are okay with his doing so, perhaps it might help if you invited your boyfriend to visit you at the funeral parlor at a time when there are no viewings taking place. It might help him realize it is, at its core, just a business, which in this case happens to provide an important service.
Whatever you can do to demystify and normalize your role at the funeral home may hopefully open the door to your boyfriend becoming reconciled to your potential career choice.