December 4, 2015: Death in the check out line.
Today I was standing in the check out line at Hobby Lobby, picking up a few Christmas items, when a page rang out that “so-and-so” had a phone call on line one. The cashier in my line had just finished ringing out the woman in front of me and picked up the phone call as I started to unload my items. Her eyes grew large and in a hurried voice she told whoever was on the other line that she would call them right back.
I asked if everything was okay and she tried to hold back tears as she told me that her uncle had just passed away. I asked her if his passing was unexpected and she said, not really no. He had surgery, but was thought to be doing well. She said she was going to ask her manager if she could go home. She cashed me out (I tried to switch lines but she refused, probably with the thought of staying busy to keep her mind off of things) and before I left I told her that I hope her day got better.
Hoped her day got better?
I’m a funeral director, surrounded by death constantly and the best I could do is tell her I hope her day got better? Real nice, Lauren.
I know I was caught off guard, I mean, who walks into a store to find themselves in a situation where they’re trying to comfort an employee? But I could have done better.
And I’m thinking, how horrible it is, that in the culture in which we live, we are so taken aback by death. People are dying everyday. Strangers, celebrities, family and friends. Death should not make us uncomfortable. Death is a part of our lives.
This December 4th, I am praying for the cashier at Hobby Lobby, but I’m also praying for everyone else who has lost a loved one during this season. Death is harder during the holidays. I wish that I could have been more of a comfort. I wish that I would have had better words to give her. But most importantly, I wish that she could know that the love we have for others does not die with the person. Guys, we have no idea what is going to happen. Please, go out there and hug someone. Tell them how you feel. Let this holiday season be a reminder to be more kind, more forgiving, but most importantly more loving to all. We may not always have the right words, but we can have the right actions.