New Zealand
Seven Sharp

Young woman goes from working in hospitality to funeral home

Fri, Jun 2

In one of the more unusual career pivots, 25-year-old Tahlia Glatz has gone from working in hospitality to becoming one of the country's youngest embalmers.

The move came during the Covid-19 pandemic when Glatz left the restaurant she was working at to start a new job at a funeral home.

Glatz admitted that it was far from what she had initially anticipated. But after a few months of cleaning and assisting with funerals, she quickly developed an interest in embalming.

"I'm doing it by myself. It's a very satisfying and rewarding job," Glatz shared.

It takes Glatz usually three hours to embalm a body.

"It depends on the person's size, weight and height, or if it's just a standard elderly case or if there's been an accident which tends to take longer," she explained.

Prior to joining the funeral industry, Glatz had limited exposure to death, having only attended a couple of funerals. However, her lack of prior experience did not deter her from pursuing her newfound passion.

"You're helping families in their worst days of their lives getting to see their loved ones who've been cared for and respected."

With more bodies coming through the doors and a shortage of workers persisting, she's a welcome addition to the Woolertons' Funeral Home.

"We'd love to see younger people come in because of the skill set they bring with them," funeral director Phil Woolerton told Seven Sharp.

Glatz was unusually young for working in a funeral home, Woolerton acknowledged, because of the common stereotype that only older gentlemen do the job.

When asked if this was how Glatz envisaged herself, she revealed she wanted to be an archaeologist but there was no opportunity in New Zealand.

"I'll put that on the backburner. I'll go to uni for something else and then ended up here instead."

Although it is not a typical job, Glatz loves her career because she can make people look like their old self.

"When families come in and visit them and they can start that healthy grieving process."


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