C J Talks About : The Funeral Service Profession — Pt. 2
Part 1 began with a little background of my personal work ethic, that I felt people should know. I will readily admit that I tend to be very strict about holding myself to high standards. This applies to most aspects of my life, not only work. This can cause me to be a bit judgmental of others, I suppose. I think it is difficult NOT to compare myself to others; it is also difficult to avoid using my ‘measuring stick’ in sizing them up as I observe how they work or interact with others, etc. I think most people would agree that we all tend to do this.
So, Part 1 ended with a rather harsh personal opinion about a particular peer. That view is admittedly colored with much personal hurt, and, dare I admit, ‘hatred,’ now more than at the time I worked with him. His dislike of me, or envy, fuelled a mission he had: to see me gone, out of his way. He got his way in the end.
After I had recovered from my back injury, I returned to work. With the aid of the mechanical lift, I was working to my full capacity and more. For a year, I was functioning better than ever, preparing bodies, overseeing that area’s overall service and operation. Additionally, I was tasked with answering the phones after hours, taking death calls (first calls), and I had no problem doing my job until the end of that year. That is, unfortunately a post-injury mile-marker. The employer has the OPTION (at the end of 12 months) to continue my position, or can decide my lifting accommodation is something they do not want to allow. Of course, that manager jumped on the opportunity to “opt out” and I was pointed to vocational rehab and trained to do other work.
I was out of my life’s ambition, to be a funeral service professional. To me, it was the end of my world, as I knew it. I have never gotten over it. That person eventually met his own demise in that career as well. As evil as it may sound, I was happy to learn about it. It gave little comfort to me, though, because I cannot get over how it all ruined my life. Still, ten years later, I mourn the loss of my livelihood, my life’s calling to help others as they deal with death. It was a crushing blow for me, mentally, spiritually, and totally. Of course I ‘moved on’ and went to work again, but not in funeral service.
A ray of light, thus hope, recently appeared: by deciding to take up blogging about my experiences, I have found that perhaps I can still help others, and therefore may still have some purpose after all. I want to thank my ‘followers’ and my readers very much for your engagement here. I am so grateful to you for the opportunity to answer questions or give you a little peace of mind over a concern that you have had. IT MEANS THE WORLD TO ME. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
However, to answer that question about what I believe to be true, generally, of people working in the profession:
- Yes, without a doubt, I will say 99.8% of them are truly dedicated to serving with conscience, compassion, empathy, and utmost integrity. They are giving your loved one the privacy, dignity, and RESPECT you expect, as they secure and prepare them for final disposition (cremation or burial).
- Yes, they are trustworthy. They do take great care to listen, help, and focus on details.
- Yes, it is of utmost importance to them, that they are delivering to you, the client-family, the information, resources, and options available so that you may make the best choices possible as you plan a meaningful tribute to your loved one’s memory.
BOTTOM LINE: THEY DO CARE.
© 2013, C.S. Thompson.