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Teenage funeral director leads the way

DEATH BECOMES HIM: 17-year-old Jason Innis could be one of the country's youngest funeral directors

WHEN JASON Innis from Birmingham asked "why can’t he dress himself?" at the age of six, he was referring to the dead body his father was preparing for a funeral.

He was unaware that one day he too would be involved in the same practice.

Though it was his first encounter of a dead body, he had been shining and buffing coffins for his father’s funeral business from the tender age of three.

“I didn’t mind, I wasn’t scared,” said college student Innis nonchalantly.

At the age of 17, he’s seen more than his fair share of coffins and dead bodies, occasionally giving his father a helping hand with the family business and although morbid for most, Innis is barely fazed.

“It feels normal. I’m not frightened. When I did it I felt fine,” Innis said of his first experience supervising a funeral.

“Dad walked me through everything and it became natural,” he added.

Studying for a BTEC in Business Studies at Solihull Sixth Form College, in the West Midlands, Innis doesn’t plan to have a fully-fledged career in the funeral business.

He told The Voice he hopes to start his own retail company in the future.

Innis, the youngest of his six siblings, explained how his father Micah Innis, founder of Micah Funeral Ministry, prepared him for each funeral.

Innis told the Voice that his friends have “mixed opinions” about his vocation.

“Some find it weird, some say they would be scared and some think it’s cool,” he added.

Innis said his father set up the business 30 years ago after moving to the UK from Barbados. He had been “fascinated by it as a child at the age of seven.”

During the supervision of his first funeral, Innis received copious positive comments from the mourners.

"People were very shocked and surprised, they kept asking how old I was and congratulating me.

"Dad was congratulating me also, he was very proud of me."

Innis prepares for a funeral starting by compiling a 'To Do' list, and practising the steps he will take two days before.

When h is not directing funerals or studying he likes nothing better than to hang out with friends playing football and basketball.

Jason’s mother, Iona said: "Their father is keen to get the children to take over but not all of them want to.

"He wants them to be in this business because it means they will never be unemployed, he’s trying to sell that to his children, he’s hoping it’ll work."

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