When Paul Bye reveals his profession at parties, it can be something of a show-stopper. Paul, from Surrey, gave up his career of 15 years to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Funeral Director. Paul explains “I wanted to do a job that was more important, where I could help people. I wanted to make people aware of the choices that are available and help them to talk about death and dying.”
He added that he has “no fascination with death” as his work is really about “helping the living by supporting grieving families.” Nevertheless, he does have to work in the mortuary with the deceased, so how does he cope with this aspect of the job? “Before becoming a Funeral Director I had never seen a dead body and found the prospect a little chilling, but I quickly became accustomed to it. It’s not creepy. The deceased is simply somebody whose heart no longer beats; somebody’s loved one.”
Dealing with grieving families on a daily basis must be harrowing but Paul said “I get a tangible sense of helping people. It’s meaningful, wonderful work.” He added that if he ever has a particularly difficult day, he unwinds by talking to his father (who also works for Lodge Brothers) about it. Paul says that his work has changed his own perspective on life. “It has made me hold the people I love tighter. It has made me appreciate them more. I no longer dwell on small things, hold grudges or let arguments lie unresolved.”
As part of Paul’s role at Lodge Brothers, he meets with clubs and societies to engage them in conversations about death and dying. “Death is a fact of life and it is important to be able to discuss your own thoughts and personal wishes. Planning ahead for their funeral gives people the comfort of knowing that, when they die, their family and friends will have a good idea of the things that matter to them the most. Of course we encourage people to consider the implications of burial versus cremation, but we also ask people to think about their favourite pieces of music, donations to a designated charity, the funeral procession to take a specific route or bright colours to be worn.
Although Lodge Brothers are technologically advanced for a funeral directors they still uphold the traditions of past generations and on the day of the Funeral, one of their Funeral Directors in traditional morning apparel will ensure all the arrangements come together as planned and support the client by leading the proceedings to ensure your loved one is honoured in the mood and style that would suit them and that the funeral might have been chosen by them.
Finally being a family business they recognise that the support shouldn’t finish with the funeral, clients are encouraged to return to the branch at anytime for a tea or chat and are invited to an annual remembrance service and other special events specifically arranged with bereavement in mind, making Lodge Brothers the family you can turn to.
Paul Bye Dip FD is the Surrey Commercial and Operations Manager for Lodge Brothers and will be assisting with Grave Talk a café style event at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Sunday 30th April.