“Rich or poor, everyone deserves a dignified funeral. That’s our legacy,” says Jenny Tay, managing director of Direct Funeral Services. The daughter of undertaker Roland Tay joined her father’s business after a brief career in advertising and event management, despite her interest from an early age.

Tay admits, “Taking over a family business can be tough as you have big shoes to fill. I started from the ground up, visiting the embalming room regularly to learn how to do make-up for the departed. My job is not for the faint-hearted as we deal with grief and death every day.”

Taking a step further, Tay co-founded Direct Life Foundation two years ago to connect volunteers with elderly people who live alone. The foundation conducts regular events, including free haircuts, concerts and excursions to places of interests around Singapore.

Seeing death every day has helped Tay cherish life more — this new mother has taken skydiving and other extreme sports off her bucket list. “My work is very meaningful as we help the family through the entire grieving process. Now, I count my blessings every morning when I wake up. Facing death every day allows me to consider how to lead a meaningful life.”