2014-07-23 “Understanding”

As a Funeral Director I’m often left searching for the answer to why bad things happen to good people.  I don’t know what the answer is and I never will, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering.  Sometimes people tell me that it takes a special person to do my job and they wonder how I can do it but I don’t think that we’re all that different.  I’ve seen you come to the Funeral Home to walk beside someone who is hurting.  I’ve seen you hug someone whose life has been turned upside down and I’ve seen you cry.  I’ve seen you bring food, send cards and make donations.  I know that you’ve cut grass, raked leaves, shoveled snow and run errands.  So have I.  I know that you’ve gone to a funeral and then you’ve gone home to the people who love you and who make your life complete and I know you’ve felt bad because you knew there was at least one person at the funeral that day who didn’t want to go home.  We all know that going home to an empty house would be devastating but we also understand that we can’t fully comprehend that feeling until it happens to us…and we know that it will.      

I know that families appreciates what we do, even if they don’t tell us that.  Grief is intense.  Don’t be insulted if your thank you card is overlooked.  Someday you’ll realize just how scattered your thoughts can become when your world is turned upside down.  I don’t do the things for a family because I want to be recognized…it’s not about me.  I do those things because it’s in my heart and because I want to help someone and I see that in you too.    

I don’t wait for a family call me if they need something.  Instead, I try to think of something they might need and I call them.  If I’m going to meet someone out of town I’ll call them before I go and see if they need that quart of milk from the grocery store because I know there’s a good chance they’ll go without if it means having to face people or wait in line at the check-out while their grief is still new. 

Above all, I try to be a good listener and someone people can trust because we all know that every day that’s what people really need.  Saying things out loud can help them to understand why they’re feeling the way they do.  I’m patient if they repeat things because I know if that happens, they are sharing something very important to them.