Meet a Funeral Director: Mike McCrae at Drayton Memorial
Learn more about Mike McCrae's job at Drayton Memorial and gain valuable insight into what it's like to work in the funeral industry. Mike works at Drayton Memorial, located in Canada.
Mike, how long have you worked at Drayton Memorial? How did you first get into the profession?
We opened Drayton Memorial October 20, 2022. We renovated a retired church and turned it into a funeral home. My partner has been in the funeral business for about 4 years and I did transfers for a year or so before enrolling and becoming an apprentice.
What is your job like? What are you responsible for in a typical week?
My job is extremely busy. Not only am I learning the funeral business but we are building a new business from the ground up. I source and buy the equipment and supplies as well as the marketing and public relations for the business.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Getting the thank you and a hug at the end of the service is the best part. Knowing that we helped someone and touched them just a little bit is very rewarding.
What do you wish more people knew about funerals and cemeteries?
If people would be more open to talking about their wishes it would save families a lot of stress.
What was the most memorable burial that you've helped with?
We did a service in a town many miles from home. The lady that had passed had her brothers urn on her casket to be buried with her. A large gentleman stood off by himself and after the family had walked away he went and touched the brothers urn. Once the casket and urn were lowered the big man , still by himself, turned and started to walk away. I caught up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned, I looked up at him and simply said, I am sorry about your friend. The big man looked at me and I wasn't sure what was coming next, I could see that he was very troubled. He looked at me for a long time then tears started to flow, and he whispered "thanks" turned and walked away. As long as I live, I will never forget that moment. I honestly think I made a difference for him in that moment.
Do you have any thoughts or recommendations for people who are grieving?
Try not to dwell on your loss. Remember the good times and how lucky you had that person in your life for as long as you did.
Is there anything else that you'd like to share with our audience?
For me, the hours in the funeral business are incredibly short, there are just a lot of them. This is more than a job and the rewards do not come in the paycheck. I thought about becoming a funeral director many years ago and wish I would have then because I see many opportunities that could have made this a good life long career.