I used to want to be an actress pretty bad. Maybe a part of me still does. You see, ever since I was a little girl I would go to plays and musicals with my mom. Some of my favorite memories are from when my mom took me to Shea’s Performing Arts Center. And like, it’s a different world inside there, you know? There were so many different kinds of people gathering together to watch something amazing and lose reality for a few hours. I can remember just sitting in one of those theatre chairs totally engulfed in the musical and thinking to myself, “I want to do that.”
Unfortunately, God did not bless me with a singing voice. You kind of need one of those if you’re going to play Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. It’s kind of a tough thing, to give up on a childhood dream. I’m not sure exactly if I gave up on it or if reality just set in. Whatever the case may be, God did put me on a different path; a path that not many people walk down. Maybe he thought I was strong enough to handle it. Maybe he thought I could affect people in a much greater way doing what I do rather than having people watch me up on a stage.
I have no idea what I said at work today, but whatever it was caused Mark to tell me, “Lauren, you’re not meant to be famous, you’re meant to give other people their fifteen minutes of flame.”
It’s a horrible funeral joke, I know, but sometimes you need to have a horrible sense of humor when you work in a funeral home. And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about giving people their ‘fifteen minutes of flame’ since he said it.
If you can look past the funeral pun, that’s exactly what we do. As funeral directors it’s our job to memorialize a person’s life in a respectful and dignified way. From helping families write death notices to picking out a casket it’s all about the lost loved one and their life. And to be there helping a family send their loved one off, well, that’s a gift all in itself. For a few days, my world revolves around making sure that a visitation/memorial service/funeral service goes off perfectly so this deceased person has a decent funeral; because everyone deserves a decent funeral. Everyone deserves their time to shine.
And you know what? I’m not sure if I would get the same satisfaction that I do now if I were an actress. When I have family and friends of the deceased come up and hug me I know it’s because they mean it. When they look me in the eyes and say ‘Thank you’ I can feel it. So I guess I’m happy being on this road that I’m on. But if God ever decides that I could be more beneficial to the world by starring in a movie with Johnny Depp I wouldn’t question him. After all, God has never steered me wrong.