Woman who became undertaker at 19 explains what it’s like to deal with dead people every day
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"People need someone who is calm and caring at their very worst time, and I hope I can be that person for them."
Thinking about what happens after you die isn't the most joyous experience, but it's everything involved with this process that Inez Capps described as her 'calling in life'.
The 30-year-old works as a Managing Director of a funeral directors in the East Midlands after getting into the profession at just 19 years old.
It's her dad Inez has to thank for introducing her to the death industry. While it might sound morbid to some, Inez's father used to help out at a local funeral directors while his daughter was growing up, and she always knew that when he wore a black suit he was 'going to help people'.
"I wasn’t shielded as a child from death and for me this was a good thing," Inez told LADbible.
After college, Inez didn't want to go to university. She spoke with her dad about joining him in his work and accompanied him to a nursing home where they'd been called out one day.
"Standing in this lady's room, caring for her after she had died, I knew this is what I was meant to do," Inez said.
She officially joined the profession in the village she had been brought up in, saying: "I felt like I was able to give back to my community and a place that I grew up and cared so much about."
A decade on, Inez has come to learn that 'no day is the same in the funeral industry'. Some days she spends conducting funerals, others she's answering emails and phone calls, and some she's tending to hospital mortuaries and bringing people back to the business to be cared for.
The most rewarding part, though? "When I stand in front of the family after the funeral service has ended, whether a church and burial or a cremation, and they come up to me say and say, 'You’ve made the worst time of my life a little bit easier to manage. Thank you'."
That kind of response is why Inez does what she does.
"I don’t do this job for anything else other than knowing I helped people when they needed it the most," she explained.
Of course, like any job, there are some areas of her career Inez dislikes, including caring for deceased young people and babies, which can be a 'lot to process'.
"Having hobbies and distractions is a key part for me because you are surrounded by a lot of sorrow daily," Inez said.
It can also be tough to deal with families sometimes, especially when members are divided over the decisions that need to be made after death.
"As a funeral director we are sometimes placed into the middle of families and we become their counsellor; through no fault of anyone’s, it just happens," Inez said.
All in all, though, there 'isn't anything' about being an undertaker she would change.
And I know what you're thinking. Isn't it a bit creepy to deal with dead people every day? That's a question Inez has faced a lot over the last 10 years, but she insisted it's 'never fazed her'.
"When I look after anyone, there is always a small [sense] of detachment," Inez said. "However, it is someone’s mum or dad or grandma, and it does pull at your heartstrings and tears often happen."
Plus, it probably helps that Inez has never had to deal with anything paranormal, assuring she's 'never seen a ghost or felt anything'.
But with helping people as her 'drive and passion', Inez admitted she has no idea what she'd be doing if she wasn't a funeral director.
She described the job as a 'life choice' which can 'consume you', and acknowledged it can be hard to switch off after a day at work. But knowing she can care for someone after they pass away is a job that makes her 'soul whole'.