A crematorium worker has spoken of the challenges of working with bereaved families as he prepares to end a 40-year career.
Ronley Day started at Dewsbury Moor crem in the 1970s, and he will officially retire on November 2. The ex-farmer, who swapped agriculture for supporting mourners, worked as a chapel attendant, and his duties ranged from arranging flowers and cards, greeting guests and playing funeral music to training new members of staff and operating cremating machines. Kirklees Council have paid tribute to long-serving Ronley, who plans to spend more time gardening and staying in his caravan during retirement.
“I’m lucky that I have spent 40 years doing a job I have really enjoyed, although it does have its challenges. It’s particularly upsetting when children have died. We can empathise with the families for their loss, but have to remain professional and not get caught up in the emotion so that we can do a proper job for them and help in a calm and sensitive way,” said Ronley.
“Being surrounded by loss and intense emotion does affect us sometimes, so behind the scenes it’s important for us to support each other as a team and keep a sense of humour to lighten the mood when things get difficult.”