Shannon Burberry is a funeral home manager with more than 25 years of experience in the funeral industry. As a funeral director with Arbor Memorial, Shannon helps families plan and customize end-of-life arrangements for their loved ones. Prior to Arbor Memorial, Shannon has held several funeral industry positions focused on assisting families with loss. Shannon earned her Funeral Service Education Diploma from Humber College.
I started thinking about how this is a pretty common occurrence for people: someone has passed away and left behind a sentimental collection - anything from jewelry to model trains to postcards. And if you are inheriting them, it can be hard to figure out what to do with this cherished collection.
Oftentimes, a funeral announcement leaves us with a handful of unanswered questions just based on etiquette alone. Do I attend? How long do I stay? What do I say? Does it really matter if I show up? It can be overwhelming, especially when we don't have a very close relationship with the deceased or the family.
According to Statistics Canada, the proportion of women working in the funeral industry has nearly doubled since 1995. And at Humber College today, women comprise about 75 per cent of students who enrol in the funeral services program. There are a few reasons why the time is now for more women to get involved in the funeral industry -- and why a career in this field shouldn't be overlooked.
Even as a young teenager, I knew I wanted to become a funeral director when I grew up. Perhaps an odd dream for a child, but I knew in my heart that I could help people by assisting them in saying their goodbyes. Now looking back on my career of over 25 years in the funeral industry, my views on the particulars of life have definitely changed for the better. There's so much to learn about life while working with death.