My daughter Makaila challenged me to write down ten things I have learned in the last 36 years (since becoming a Funeral Director) and here they are…
- THAT HARD WORK PAYS OFF.
My father instilled that in my brain all my life. I was raised on a dairy farm. There were chores to do every day, morning and night. I have always worked hard.
- THAT TRUST IS EARNED.
I will be forever grateful to the families who have let us prove that we were worthy of their trust. It doesn’t matter how fancy your buildings or your cars are…what matters is how you treat people.
- THAT NOT EVERYBODY LIKES THE SAME THINGS THAT I DO.
And that’s okay. We all have different tastes in music, food and everything else. I am one of the most non-judgmental people you will ever meet. You only have one chance to make a funeral the way that you want it to be. Follow your heart.
- THAT DESPITE THE BAD THINGS THAT HAPPEN, SOMETIMES THERE ARE GOOD THINGS THAT SURROUND THEM.
I hear this a lot. I experienced it in my own life. Despite many obstacles on the night my Mom took a turn for the worse, we were all able to make it to the hospital and be with her when she died.
- THAT I CAN FUNCTION ON LITTLE SLEEP.
It doesn’t matter what time of night it is when a hospital calls, I go. You may never find out that I do that, but it’s important to me. It goes back to the fact that I treat everyone like I would have wanted my mother treated and I loved her a lot.
- THAT PEOPLE LOOK FOR SIGNS.
Everybody wants to know that everything is okay. I believe in signs. I can tell you stories.
- THAT EVERY PERSON AND EVERY FAMILY HAS A STORY.
You’re not alone. Nobody is perfect and no family is perfect. We just do the best that we can. I meet with people at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives and I learn a lot of things…all of which I will take to my own grave.
- THAT THERE IS GOOD IN EVERYONE.
- THAT I’VE LEARNED HOW TO BECOME A GOOD LISTENER.
- THAT SOMETIMES IT’S THE SMALL THINGS THAT MATTER THE MOST.