Episode 55 – Brian Wood, Wood’s Funeral Home
5 Generations of Service
Although Jon Wood did not want his children to feel pressured to go into the family business, his son, Brian, was drawn to it. “As a kid the only thing I knew about death was what I learned in scary zombie movies,” Brian said, “it wasn't until I was going to college that I started to help on Saturday's.” Brian explained that it only took a few weeks of helping out before he knew that he wanted to be a part of what his family had done for generations.
Brian trained in mortuary science in Arizona after completing a business degree locally. He was able to do an apprenticeship within the family business before going into the program. The emphasis within the program was very science based but there was also a portion of the program that was counseling based and grief support based. “The counseling base is so important to be able to guide people and help them through [grief],” Brian said.
Navigating death and dying might seem like it would be too hard for many people to do. “One generation after another has seen the great blessings and the great character it has built,” Brian said about why his family has been a part of this work for so long. “A lot of people wonder if we get desensitized to death but that is not a good explanation of what happens to us, death to us is as common as birth is to a nurse that works in the birth center. It's something that we see every day, but each family we serve we realize this is a new experience for them. We go in each time and assure them that we will care for their loved one like they are a part of our own family. We make sure they know we care,” Brian said. “Our staff is here to serve and care for them.”
Although you'd think that being in the funeral business would be so sad and hard, Brian feels differently about it. “Something about being in this business your body naturally learns how to compartmentalize the stress. Over time we have a place to tuck it and we can go home at night and be a dad or a husband. Depression and anxiety are important to recognize. We go through some really hard things,” Brian said. “Because we are so involved in serving mankind you'll see that funeral directors are a happier people. I don't feel the depression or the sadness, I feel the blessings. It's more of a feeling of being grateful to help other families. I have so much growth through this and it brings a lot of happiness.”
Feeling pride in the work he does through the service he gives to the community helps him to love the work he does. He admits that he feels the pressure of being the torch holder of the fifth generation but comes to work everyday knowing that he's here to serve others and no matter the outcome, that's all that matters. Self doubt is normal and he feels you just have to do the best you can and move forward.
Just 2 years ago, Wood Funeral Home added a building to their Ammon campus that houses the Crematorium. Brian is proud to be able to offer similar services to the loved ones of those being cremated as they do for those having burial, something he feels had been lacking in the community.
Brian has a son who, at age 11, is already talking about going into the family business. Wood Funeral Home very well may be working on the 6th generation that will continue to navigate the citizens of East Idaho through some of the hardest times of their life with dignity and respect.
For more information on Wood Funeral Home, please visit their site at https://www.woodfuneralhome.com/
Thank you to Disruptive Productions for editing the show. Find out more about James and what he can do for your business at https://www.facebook.com/disruptiveproductions/.