Meet Yvonne from Fosters Cumbernauld
Yvonne explains why being a funeral arranger is her dream job and why the little things make a big difference. A very friendly person she enjoys fitness, socialising and meeting new people.
Yvonne, how long have you worked for Fosters?
I’ve been in the funeral industry for nearly 7 years now and joined Fosters 18 months ago.
What made you choose this as a career?
There isn’t one single reason other than it always fascinated me. This is my dream job. I used to work in mental health and social care, but I always wanted to work in the funeral sector. My Grandad died when I was a wee girl and when we brought him home before the funeral, I sat with him and told him about my day. The adults in my family thought that was odd, but I felt extremely comfortable with him so perhaps that’s where it stems from.
Whatever the reason, being a funeral arranger the perfect job for me. I genuinely look forward to coming into work because I know I am helping people and that is incredibly rewarding.
My favourite thing about being a funeral arranger is taking the burden off the shoulders of the families who come through our doors. My job is to support them and to help them to choose what they think is the most fitting goodbye for their loved one. I feel very privileged to help bereaved families. I’m a natural organiser so this role plays to my strengths.
Is there a particular funeral that sticks in your mind?
I recently organised a funeral for a gentleman who had been a big fan of superheroes and wrestling. We customised the Order of Service with images of Knight Rider, Superman and WWE wrestlers. His family loved that as it captured his personality and gave those attending a chance to remember happier times.
We aim to personalise every funeral as every individual is unique. It’s so important that we listen carefully to the families and pick up on the little things that can bring a lot of comfort when it’s time to say goodbye.
What songs are most popular at the funerals you host in Cumbernauld?
Frank Sinatra with ‘My Way’, Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ and Eva Cassidy ‘Songbird’ would make the top 3 in Fosters Cumbernauld. However, songs don’t always have to be sad. I encourage families to choose the music that their loved one listened to. At my Uncle’s funeral which I arranged; we sang ‘Kingston Town’ by UB40 because it was the first song he sang at karaoke.
Sometimes families struggle to choose a song if their loved one wasn’t a big music fan. One family were in this position when selecting a song for their grandad’s funeral. They had mentioned to me that he always said, ‘Stop moaning, that’s life!’ so I suggested ‘That’s Life’ by Frank Sinatra might be a good fit, and it certainly made them smile.
What role does technology play in a modern funeral?
The livestreaming of the service is amazing as family and friends can log in and join the funeral from anywhere in the world. One lady wasn’t allowed to travel back from Australia because of coronavirus to attend her father’s funeral in person so technology enabled her to be part of his final farewell.
What’s your favourite tradition?
In some smaller places people in the town walk behind the hearse to the cemetery or crematorium to show respect to the person who has passed on and to their family. I love this as it’s so respectful.