On National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day: Celebrate High Lawn Funeral Home’s Samuel Stump

Funeral directors deal with people at the worst of times and must lead with empathy to ensure their loved one’s wishes are properly honored.

High Lawn Funeral Home’s Samuel Stump says it’s all about being a compassionate listener who can offer solace.

Stump recently lost his father and he said that opened his eyes up much more.

“Because of the way that I felt when my father passed away, and the funeral home that took care of him (which was family),” Stump said. “Just having somebody to talk to and listen, that is the most important thing in this business is being able to listen and comfort that family.”

He previously worked in the financial industry, as well as healthcare in some capacity since his family owned a chain of pharmacies. And he says his uncle was a funeral director for the longest time.

“It was just something that I’d always found interesting and I thought about doing it once before in life. Then, after my kids were born — I really wanted to go into this,” said the licensee in charge. “Most people would not see it as very rewarding, but being able to comfort families and take care of them in their darkest hours is very rewarding.”

According to Stump, they do psychology when in embalming and mortuary school.

“It is a lot on grief counseling. We don’t do it as much after their loved one is deceased,” he said. “But being able to empathize and just show compassion to them in that time of need and always let them know if they need somebody to talk to afterward, that they can always contact us and we will be there for them.”

They celebrate that loved one’s life, even though it’s a dark time for the family. Stump says he knows he made a difference when they offer feedback on the funeral service.

“And how it was a great day; that it really lifted their spirits lifts your spirits as well,” said the licensee in charge.

When nowadays it seems like there’s a national day for everything…

“It really is a good day to be honored for something that a lot of people overlook in this industry,” Stump said.

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