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Mansfield Funeral Home & Event Center
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Curating Celebrations with Your Loved One In Mind
Curating Celebrations with Your Loved One In Mind

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Mansfield Funeral Home & Event Center's posts

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23 years ago when I became a funeral director I always thought it was "cool" to let people know what I did when asked about my occupation. I always got two reactions when I told people what I do; the "ewww" reaction and the "20 questions" reaction. Regardless of the reaction, I always seem to be the center of discussion.

At times, being the center of attention in small groups about my career got uncomfortable, especially when the jokes about death care would start. Hearing the same jokes over and over again and trying to be polite as if I had never heard it before. So I learned to interrupt after the first joke and tell an interesting story of an experience I had while working as a funeral director. This always gets everyone's attention and and all eyes focused on me.

I usually tell a story about an experience I had working for a funeral home in San Marcos, Texas which was on rotation with the other funeral home in town doing death calls for crime scenes and unnatural deaths. One afternoon when I was working, I received a call from the sheriff's department about a young person that died while being mischievous with some friends. You see, this young man and a friend thought it would be a good idea to tie a rope to the bolt end of a trailer hitch ball, the other end tied to his wrist and drop it off a low bridge, over a country road, pounding the top of cars as they drove under. What they didn't expect while pulling up the ball hitch was a semi-truck traveling under the bridge, running into the ball hitch, and causing it to go through the windshield and hook under the roof of the cab pulling the arm off of the boy, causing his unfortunate death. 

Now imagine how captivated these folks are hanging on to my every word visualizing each detail. What they don't know is the unfortunate turn of events for the truck driver.

So the truck driver stops his rig and immediately calls the police to report what has happened. Quickly the sheriff's department responds and begins their investigation as the truck driver explains what has happened. Once all the facts have been obtained, the officer places the truck driver under arrest and he is charged for his involvement in the incident.

This is where my last two words ends all the jokes, places the focus of what I do away from me and allows me to continue socializing without answering tons of questions. 

It never fails, as soon as I say the truck driver was arrested, someone always asks the question with confusion, "What was the truck driver arrested for?"

"Armed Robbery".....hook, line and sinker. It always worked like a charm and had never been heard before. 

Now this is all great as a twenty something year old but as I get older I notice that the jokes become more of a "How's business....dead?" and then discussion about their own mortality and their wishes for their funeral soiree. Times are changing and the ceremony that has remained the same for over a century is changing as well. Today's client is arranging for a celebration rather than a wake. It isn't uncommon for the cost of catering and the location of the service to cost more than the disposition of the human remains. Funeral directors are now fine tuning their expertise in party planning. Why not, we do have the skill to arrange for large gatherings, and the talent to coordinate all aspects of a "service" within a very short time frame. Planning a celebration of life where the attendees leave feeling happy about the times remembered instead of mourning a death is slowly becoming the norm of today's ceremony.

With that being said, being the center of attention and using humor about my profession in funeral service can be considered training for helping others prepare for life's last big event. With tact and sensitivity, there is no reason that one of life's hardest situations can't be a jovial experience honoring and memorializing a life lived.

To succeed as a funeral director today requires both an open mind and an exceptional ability to listen. My wife can attest that this also helps with marriage as well. I've learned that when people try to make light of my profession they are really trying to redirect the conversation from having to think about their own demise. Now when I share an experience, I talk about the 150 motorcycle procession for a biker or the memorial service we had at the Ranger's Ballpark in Arlington, or the golf themed celebration of life where everyone attended the ceremony at the golf club in their golf attire. 

Suddenly people are forced to think about their service and the personal touches they would want for themselves. I mean, would you really want everyone to be sad at your funeral?
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Sweet story about a young boy and the grandmother he lost.

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Mansfield Funeral Home provides caskets with unique features built in. An example of that would be the Memory Safe Drawer which can be used to display cherished keepsakes during the visitation, or to secure private mementos and farewell messages. Mansfield Funeral Home provides families a variety of stationary for family members and younger children to express their grief by drawing a special picture or writing a special note.
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Ever wonder who how the Declaration Independence was so elegantly written? Thomas Jefferson wrote the draft and the final, as we know it today, was written by a Master Penman. Jake Weidmann is the youngest Master Penman today.

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Very cool sculptures that look like plastic, but are actually made of stacked pieces of paper! http://ow.ly/Nirxf

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Happy Earth Day! Did you know Mansfield Funeral Home is 100% solar powered? Did you know we have a tree planted for every family we serve in memory of their loved one. 1200 and counting. Read all about it at www.mansfieldfuneralhome.com #solar #livingmemorial #earthday #mansfieldtexas #celebratelife
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The flowers are in bloom at Mansfield Funeral Home. #spring #newlife #mansfieldfuneralhome
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Did you know Ben and Jerry's has a cemetery for discontinued flavors of ice cream? Check it out! http://ow.ly/G4NlT

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Great Job UPS! UPS makes 4 year old's dream come true.
Awesome Video.
http://ow.ly/FtVN0
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