little miss funeral

an average girl working at your not so average job

Category: personal experiences

My thoughts for my little bebe.

In the event that you haven’t seen my most recent YouTube video, I am so happy to share with all of you that my husband and I haven recently welcomed a daughter into the world!

When I found out I was pregnant, I was so unbelievable excited, but so scared at the same time. I was excited, because my husband and I had been trying to start a family. I was scared, because I had buried so many babies throughout my career as a funeral director. From the start, I was very negative and felt like something would go wrong at any moment. I know the reason I did this was because I felt that if I expected the worse, and if it happened, it would make it easier for me to cope. I was super lucky to overall have a very easy pregnancy and the most supportive husband. We did have a few odd things that our doctor wanted to keep an eye on during our pregnancy. I’d come home from appointments crying, convinced that something was wrong. During these times, my husbands faith and support never wavered. He brought the happiness and light into these past nine months. Anytime something bothers me, I write about it. Below, I have a little bit of a diary from these past months of me growing a little human inside of me.

 

A Little Background:

We found out we were pregnant very early on in the pregnancy, on December 14, 2017, I was five weeks pregnant. I always said that when I did get pregnant, I never wanted to find out what sex the baby was. My husband was very supportive with this decision. After we found out we were expecting, we waited for my first doctors appointment at eight weeks to tell our parents and siblings. We then waited till I was twelve weeks until we told our friends and employers. Josiah and I decided to keep everything offline. In our eyes, the people in our lives who knew about the baby were the people that we loved and saw. By keeping it offline, we felt like we were able to keep this personal time more intimate between the two of us.

January 4th.

I found out about you on the first anniversary of Eddie’s death. That makes me smile. Like you were a gift of light during an otherwise dark day. The sun hadn’t even come up yet. I ran into the bedroom where your dad was sleeping and woke him up. He was so happy, we both were. And then, all of a sudden I was afraid. Afraid of everything that could go wrong. I thought of all of the women with pain in their hearts and wondered what made me so special? Was why I blessed with you?

March 17th.

Most of our family knows about you. The minute you turned twelve weeks old in my stomach was when your father was begging to tell everyone. He’s so excited for you. So am I, but it still doesn’t feel real. I’ve heard your heartbeat three times and each time I still wonder if this is all a dream. I keep telling myself that I’ll tell more people after the next appointment. The next heartbeat. The next ultrasound. Because what if I tell people and then at the next doctors appointment they can’t find your little heartbeat? What if I lose everything in an instant?

My close friends tell me that I’m being crazy. That I can’t let such a beautiful time be run by fear. But fear is what I have in my heart. I want to hold you so bad, that I don’t believe you’re actually mine until you’re here, in my arms. Your dad asked if I’ve felt you moving and I told him I have not. Maybe that’s another reason why I feel like this isn’t real. How can it not be real, when in two weeks this pregnancy will be halfway over, if it goes the full term. I know that you’re there. I know, that you’re a real person, with your own heart and your own body. The baby book next to my bed tells me that you weigh the same amount as three large eggs. I put three large eggs into my hand to try to comprehend that this is my life. My life created your life and I’m terrified. I love you so much that it physically hurts. I keep preparing myself for the worst because I can’t understand why I get to have this blessing in my life. Why do I get to experience this joy and this love? Why can’t I stop being so afraid of it?

April 9th.

Twenty-one weeks. That means, that I am halfway through my pregnancy. That means, that in just nineteen weeks, I’ll be holding you in my arms. People outside of our immediate family and friends are starting to know about you. Families I’ve served at the funeral home have reached out for my stomach and asked me when I’m due. I love this and hate it at the same time. There was something so precious about keeping you my little secret, and now the world can know about your existence by a quick glance at my stomach. I’m feeling safer in the sense that you’ll be here soon, but in the same breath I scold myself for letting my guard down. Nothing is guaranteed, not even holding you in my arms. But goodness, it’s all starting to feel so real, especially since I’ve started to feel you. You’re not just a dream, you are a person with your own little heartbeat and your own little movements. But you’re still so tiny and fragile. My mind races to everything that can go wrong, and in one moment I think I’m starting to understand what it feels like to be a mother. If I worry over everything that can go wrong while you’re in the safest home you’ll ever be in, what am I going to do once my body can’t protect you anymore? And how badly I want to hold you in my arms.

April 20th.

Two days ago we had an ultrasound. Your dad always gets super excited for these, and in one way, I do as well because we get to see how you’re growing. But I also get anxiety thinking about these appointments. I keep thinking that they’ll tell me something is wrong.

This was a follow-up appointment to my eighteen week scan. This would have been the time we could have found out if you’re a little boy or a little girl, but your dad and I decided to be surprised. At the first scan, they couldn’t see part of your heart and spine, so four weeks later they told us to come back, when you’d be a little bigger. Everything started out fine. They were able to see your little heart no problem. After a while, the technician asked me to turn onto my side because they still couldn’t see your spine. They had me move different ways but you still wouldn’t move positions, and so once again they told me to make an appointment for a follow up.

I didn’t think anything of this, but still asked the technician if anything was wrong. She said that they just couldn’t see your full spine, and had to get a good view in order to make certain you didn’t have Spina Bifida. My mind immediately started to race. She never said she was concerned that you had Spina Bifida, just that they wanted to rule it out by getting a clear image. For so long I’ve prayed that you’d come into our lives that I never once thought of what would happen if you weren’t 100% healthy. As I walked out to make another ultrasound appointment, the receptionist responded with, “They STILL couldn’t see everything?!” That’s not what a nervous mama to be wants to hear.

For two days I’ve been googling everything I can about this scan and babies not moving to view everything. For two days I’ve been freaking out in case something is wrong. You’re dad doesn’t understand this, and I have no logic. I just still can’t believe that I’m pregnant. That you have a little heartbeat, and that we’ve seen your face in these photos. I love you so much it hurts and I’m slowly realizing that I’m going to be worrying for the rest of my life. And that’s okay, as long as you’re here. I just want you here so badly.

May 5th.

More than halfway there. That’s what I keep telling myself. Except, yesterday we got a death call at the funeral home. For a little baby. The mama was one week behind me.

Enter every single bad thought that has ever come into my mind this pregnancy.

Her situation, her heartache, that could be me and you. And I keep telling myself not to think like that, but I can’t help it. Maybe it’s my hormones, but I feel so out of control and I hate it. Why do I get to be pregnant? Why do I get to carry this gift? I keep saying it over and over. I am so not worthy of this miracle, but I am forever grateful.

With each passing day I get more hopeful to meet you. With each family who walks through the funeral home door and asks me when I’m due, I smile a little bit bigger. It seems like it’s so real, I feel you moving inside of me, but in the same breath I’m afraid that I’m just living in this dream. I only have 15 weeks to go till I hold you in my arms. That doesn’t seem long at all, but waiting for you is like being a little kid waiting for Santa to come on Christmas Eve. It’s taking for-ev-er. I love you little baby. Please, keep growing, keep kicking, and stay healthy. I can’t wait to meet you on the outside.

July 12th.

Has it really been over two months since I’ve last updated these thoughts of mine? I can hardly believe it. We are so close to holding you in our arms. These days I’m feeling less afraid because I feel you constantly. In the beginning, I never thought you were an active baby, but as more time goes on, I feel you move more and more. These days, especially, those little movements tend to feel more like punches on the inside of me. At the crematory the other day, as I was signing paperwork, I let out an “OH!” as I bent over and I’m pretty certain the crematory operator thought I might have been going into labor.

Like this entire pregnancy, I’m still trying not to be too excited, although the closer I get to your due date, the more I can hardly wait! I know I should be letting myself feel all the excitement that comes along with pregnancy, and I do to an extent. It’s just that I’ve been working for so long in a funeral home and have buried so many babies, that I know anything can happen. Still, in my heart, I know that I’ll be holding you soon and I just can’t wait! I’m so excited to find out if a baby boy or baby girl has been growing inside of me for all these weeks. I’m excited to see if you look like your daddy. I’m excited to be able to hold you and kiss you and tell you I love you. We are so ready for you little baby.

August 15th.

Five days from our due date. Today I went to the doctors. I’ve been going a lot now that we’re in the final stretch. All tests done point to one healthy baby, and for that I am forever grateful. The only thing is, my doctor told me that you don’t seem to be in any sort of rush to get here! It’s so funny, because I feel as if I’ve had you inside of me forever, but now that I’m nearing the end of this journey it seems to be taking forever. I am blessed. You are here with me. The doctor says you are healthy. I’ve been able to carry you full term. Now I know that I’m asking a lot, but please little baby, if you could hurry up and be born happy and healthy, mama and daddy would love to meet you. This has been an emotional and long road, but I am so ready to see who you are. I am so ready to be able to love you on the outside.

August 21st.

Today is one day past your due date, little one. It’s so funny, because for so long I have prayed that we would make it to this point, and now that we are here I do not know what to do. This is a waiting game, and I’m not used to waiting. I’m used to being active, and constantly doing something, whether it’s working, or writing, or whatnot. And now, I’m sitting on my bed, with your furry big brother, just wondering when you’re going to make your appearance. In one sense, these have been the longest nine months of my life. But in another breath, I can’t believe how quickly this time has gone by. I keep praying that you arrive happy and healthy. If I am blessed with a happy and healthy baby I have everything. I know that labor will be difficult, and I know we’re not out of the woods just yet, but mama wants to hold you so bad! Please come quickly, my little happy and healthy baby!

August 29th.

I’m sitting in my living room, with your furry big brother sleeping on my legs and your father sleeping next to me on the sofa. After months of fear, hope, and excitement, you are finally here with us.

You physically came into our lives four days past your due date on August 24, 2018. After twenty-one hours of labor, you came out crying and I heard your dad yell, “It’s a girl, it’s our Daisy!”

Labor was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I would do it all over again for you. I would do every inch of this journey again for you. I count myself as one of the lucky ones. I had so much fear and uncertainty during this entire pregnancy. I did not want to talk about it publicly for fear that it wouldn’t be real. But you’re real and your here and I want to constantly cry because I can’t believe how much I love you. I have a daughter.

I’m having an emotional night.

 

I have been having a difficult time, lately.

And it’s been a while, since I’ve found myself slipping into this familiar territory. It’s been a very long time, since I’ve found myself this unhappy with my job. On one hand, it’s kind of funny that I’m feeling these emotions because my life is so different from where I was five years ago. But in the same breath, it makes so much sense because it’s my work environment that is causing these feelings.

Sometimes I sit down and wonder why the hell I became a funeral director. Why would I decide to dedicate my life to a career that is so heavy, unpredictable, and generally shunned  from the majority of the public? Why couldn’t I have become a school teacher, working towards enlightening the minds of the children of tomorrow? Why did I chose death? Why, as I type this now, do I feel like I never had a choice?

My life has always revolved around death. Not in a dramatic, dark way. Sure, I’ve lost my fair share of people who I love. But it’s more than that. I never felt like I had a choice in becoming a funeral director. It’s just what I was always supposed to do. Every single path that I’ve found myself on has led me to this career.

And the thing is, I love it. I really, really love it. I have this fear, that I’ve never really talked about before. That at the end of my life, as I’m looking back on what I accomplished, I’ll actually realize that I never did anything of any importance. I love being a funeral director for selfish reasons. This job gives my life purpose.

But this job also takes so much from me. It takes time away from my own family. It takes my mental health. The times when I’m working a funeral that just doesn’t make sense. A funeral that should not be happening. This job takes away my reasoning and priorities. It makes me put other people first. That may not sound so bad, except when it makes me put strangers above my own family, or my own wellbeing. It makes me nervous, that I’m going to miss a lot in the future. And what if, at the end of my life, instead of looking back and realizing I never did anything of any importance, I realize that instead, I missed out on the little moments that could have really given my life meaning?

I can’t believe that after everything I’ve been through, I’m finding myself back here. I’m grateful, that this time around I’m recognizing it. Because I realize that I’m finding myself in more unhappy moments than I would like, I can actively work towards finding happier ones. The thing is, that right now, I’m tired. At this moment, I feel as if I have so many things outside of my control and that is very overwhelming. Like always, I’m working on one day at a time. And the beautiful thing about these emotions this time around, is that I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what, I know for certain I have happier days ahead. Because life is always changing. Somehow, all of these pieces will fall into place, even if it’s not the final picture that I envisioned.

If you would have asked me seven years ago, I would have told you that I was going to retire out of the funeral home where I was working. I would have told you that I hit gold, and I worked for the best people, in a progressive firm, going above and beyond to service families. I would have never thought that I would have had to walk away to save my career in funeral service. I know that I am meant to help others in the death care profession. I know that I am good at what I do. And I know, that at times, I need help because death can be too much for me to carry by myself. I have no idea what tomorrow brings, but I know that I’m looking forward to it.

Always Memorial Podcast

It’s always awesome to be able to connect with people in funeral service. Because this job can be a little, well, different… it’s refreshing to be able to have colleagues and allies cheering you on. That’s why I was so excited to be able to connect with Tyler Fraser and be a guest on his podcast Amazing Departures!

We sat down and talked about my experiences being a funeral director. This podcast was so easy and fun to participate in because we just had a casual conversation with one another. I wanted to say a big thank you to Tyler for letting me ramble on about my experiences and for inviting me to be a guest! Listen to the show below and make certain to check our Tyler and everything else Always Memorial has to offer!

tyler-fraser-small  little-miss-funeral-img

Always Memorial Podcast: What It’s Like To Be a Funeral Director

For JR.

Yesterday, while scrolling through my Facebook page, I was notified that a person I used to work with had passed away.

It’s been a good four years since I had seen them, but the update of their death put me into shock. For a few years, they knew every aspect of my life. And then, one day, I got a new job and we lost touch.  People’s paths take them in different directions and on different journeys.

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I’m that person who tells others that we’ll stay in touch and that we’ll get together.

I’m that person who never picks up the phone to make plans because of the uncertainty with my job.

When you work in a funeral home, you understand the importance of putting your family and friends first.

When you work in a funeral home, you become very good at cancelling plans last minute and putting off scheduling again because there’s a chance you’ll have to work.

 

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Since I found out the news, I’ve been thinking of the difference that this person had made in my life. I was young when I had met them. I was often uncertain of myself and my choices; just growing into the woman I’d become. We would sit and talk about my life, my job, and my relationships. When I took my National Board Exams to become a funeral director, this person gave me an angel pin to wear for good luck. I passed those exams, the first time around. When I became engaged, we talked about the plans for the wedding. They spent that day celebrating with me. When I left my job, we talked about my depression and mental issues. They never once judge me for the decisions that I made. Instead, they would listen with an open heart and offer me gentle advice.

Death forces you to stop and take a look at yourself. I may have only worked with this person for a few years out of my entire life, but I am who I am today because I had known them. The conversations we shared helped to shape me into who I am today.

I am a better person, for having had the opportunities to know them.

The would will be a little darker without their light in it.

On being present in the moment.

I was in elementary school when I asked my mother what her favorite day of the week was. I remember she was driving me to school. I don’t know why I asked her this; I don’t know why I did a lot of things when I was younger.

She told me her favorite day was Saturday, because it meant that she was off from work and could relax, but that she still had one more day to enjoy when it was over. She then asked me what my favorite day of the week was.

I told her it was Friday, because even though I had school and tests and homework, I looked forward to having the two following days off.

That was when I realized I lived for the future.

I’ve always looked forward to things. The anticipation of a vacation could sometimes be a bigger thrill for me than actually leaving that day for the vacation itself. I couldn’t wait till I was in high school so my life could begin. Once in high school, I couldn’t wait for college for my life to really begin. Once in college, I couldn’t wait till I graduated and actually started to work in a funeral home. The future was always better than the present. The future held so many opportunities.

It took working in a funeral home for me to understand that I was mentally living my life the wrong way. One funeral in particular when I was new to the industry shook me. A girl two years older than me  had died from cancer. I had to handle her arrangements. Looking down upon her face was like looking at myself. It could have so easily been me on that embalming table. Her tomorrow’s were over. Her future cut short.

Death doesn’t care how old you are. What kind of family or background you come from. What your future plans are. When death comes for you, there are no compromises.

“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.” – Eminem

Is it weird that a funeral blog just quoted Eminem? Maybe. But is what he said true? You bet. Honestly, it’s still a struggle for me to appreciate the time I have, right now. It’s something that I have to work at constantly. It’s so easy for me to slip into my natural thoughts of “tomorrow will be better”. Don’t get me wrong, I want to plan for the future. I just don’t want to always live for tomorrow. I want to appreciate how the flowers look outside my window right now. I want to feel the warmth of my dog as he lies near my legs and be content. I want this moment to be enough if this moment is all I have. I want all of my family and friends to know that I love them, and if tomorrow starts without me, I want them to know these things today.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”  – Henry David Thoreau

Friday and Saturday are both great days. And contrary to popular belief, so are Mondays. Breath. Take a sip of your coffee. No matter what is happening right now, the fact that we are here to experience it means we are a lot more blessed than others. I mean, it’s called the present for a reason, right?

On reminding myself to breathe.

It’s happening again.

I’m feeling myself tumble-down that rabbit hole just like Alice.

One thing, that I want to state before I go further, is that I love my job. I really and truly love being a funeral director. But I would be lying if I said it was easy.

The funeral home where I’m currently employed does quite a lot of calls every year. In fact, when I tell people the amount of calls we do, they’re often taken aback. It’s a small building with two funeral directors, one full-time assistant, a trade guy, and part-time help that I can count on one hand. It doesn’t make sense, how everything can get done. But it does, and we do a damn good job.

It’s a joke, it really is, that anytime the owner goes on vacation, everyone in my town dies. This past week and a half was no exception. Ten death calls in ten days. Seven full funerals (visitations, church services, burials). One cremation with a memorial service. Two direct cremations. And I was the only funeral director in the building.

I find myself conflicted emotionally during these times. In one way, I crave these challenges. I drown myself completely with work and the families that I serve because I love proving to myself that I can do it all and do it well. I get a high off of this. Instead of cracking under the pressure I push myself harder to be a better funeral director. My organization was so spot on and communication with my assistant so clear that these services could not have run smoother. I’m proud of myself.

But in the same breath, I only have so much inside of me that I can give. Today was the last burial. The phone hasn’t rung. And now that I’m coming down from my high, I’m tired.

Compassion fatigue is a real thing. And now, it’s almost eleven at night on a Saturday and I’m feeling the pull. I’m feeling myself slipping because I haven’t had a break and for a moment, I’ve forgotten how to take care of myself. I know the steps. I know what I have to do. But when you’ve fallen down that rabbit hole in the past, the route can be just a little too familiar.

So I wanted to write this down, to remind myself that I’m human. Sometimes, I do an exceptional job being a funeral director. And sometimes, I let all the bad stuff choke me. I have to talk about it, because it’s not bad that I’m feeling these emotions. It would be bad if I didn’t share these things and hid them away all to myself. There are resources to help me and people who care about me. This is just a little bump in my journey, not my destination.

Frozen feet.

I buy UGG boots because they’re supposed to be warm. But not those fuzzy slipper-looking ones. The boots that I buy have to be somewhat stylish, since I’ll be wearing them on services. I work outside for half of my job; the days of the funerals. These days we park cars, say prayers, and wait at the gravesite once the family has said their final goodbyes. We wait until it’s finished. We take care of these bodies until they’re placed into the ground.

I try to stay warm on these cold winter days. We always have snow. The air always hurts your face. I own fleece-lined tights, fleece-lined leather gloves, hats that cover my ears, and these UGG boots. But today, I couldn’t feel my toes. Today, the ice grabbed my feet and wouldn’t let go. Today I was alone by the gravesite, with only the cemetery crew to witness this body being placed into the ground. But I waited until it was done.

My grandfather passed away in the middle of November. My grandmother decided to die during the famous October storm of 2006. Google it. We couldn’t bury her for about two weeks.  And then, you all know about Eddie, who passed away on December 14th. Death always seems to come for my family when it’s cold.

Today, January 2nd, also marks a year since a close family friend died. His burial was one of the coldest I’ve ever done. I stood at the foot of his grave and watched as the vault lid went on. I couldn’t feel my feet then, either. But it’s all part of the job. Honestly, I don’t mind that much. During these times, I remember how I felt having to say goodbye. I remember the pain, feeling broken, and the tears. I remember knowing, that even though these are the shells of those that I love, that these bodies still mean something. They matter. It would have been so much easier, if the cold that I felt in my feet could have just traveled up to my heart. We sometimes think that are problems can go away if we numb out the pain.

But we have to go through this pain. We feel pain because we love, and if pain is the price we pay to love, then I will gladly take it all. All of those good times are worth it, they really are. We’re going to cry, and scream. There are days when we’ll try to numb out the pain and find that we can’t succeed. And in the middle of all of this, we’ll find ourselves laughing at a memory and then the tears will roll once again. We have to go through it.

You will always feel what’s in your heart. But today, I can’t feel my toes.

A new year, but the same me.

It’s a new year.

How crazy to think that we’ve taken another lap around the sun. How crazy to think of all of the bodies I’ve placed into the earth, these past three hundred and sixty five days. People often use a new year as the first chapter of their book, but I think that I’m done making resolutions for a while. It’s a new year, but I know I’m the same me.

I know that it’s been a while since I last wrote. It’s always a while from one post to the next. When I first started Little Miss Funeral, I wanted to be able to communicate with my family members and friends about my job working in a funeral home. I never thought that people from all over the world would read what I write. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, especially on the internet, you open yourself up to the possibility of a lot of negativity. When you work around death and grief, negativity is the last thing that you need.

Two thousand and seventeen was a good year for me, in many ways. I traveled a lot with my family. I started a YouTube channel. I surrounded myself with people who I love. Two thousand and seventeen was also difficult. It started off with me burying a close family friend. It went on to include burying my cousin’s step-father. It was my first full year without Eddie. If I let these sad times consume me, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. But even when there is sadness, I’ve learned that goodness also grows. You just have to be open to recognize it.

I’m not going to sit here and promise different things for this new year. I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to write more, or vlog more, or anything like that. God knows that I won’t set foot in a gym. What I do promise to do, is always be honest with what I put out on Little Miss Funeral. I’m still a twenty-something-year-old woman on the other side of this screen, after all. I promise to do my best to share my journey with all of you. And you know what? I do believe that this new year is going to be an amazing journey.

One word.

My brother travels a lot. Before he leaves on one of his trips, he does research so he is as prepared as he can be. One thing that he tries to do is learn certain phrases of these different languages so he’s not completely in the dark while traveling.

It was during a conversation that we were having as he described to me his journey to learn some basic Norwegian that I mentioned how I’d love to learn some Polish.

My ancestors came from Poland, and although I’ve never been, I’ve always been very interested with my heritage. So one day, my brother gave me Pimsleur Basic Polish. An interactive CD that is supposed to help you learn – you guessed it – Polish.

Yesterday I was driving and since it’s been a while, I decided to pop the CD in. It was going quite well until the voice on the CD asked, “How do you begin to ask a female a yes or no question?”

“Easy!” I thought to myself and out loud I began to say the phrase, “Czy pani”

Then it all went downhill.

All of a sudden, I started to freak out. I had to pull over to the side of the road because I could feel my eyes begin to swell with tears.

Pani is what Eddie used to call me.

“How are you doing today, pani?” he used to mumble as he walked through the door of the funeral home. I’d smile and he’d laugh as he took his normal place in the chair besides my desk. Eight months today he’s been gone. Eight. Months. And while I normally think I’m doing very well in coping with his death I was blindsided by this one little word while driving.

Grief is a sneaky little bastard. You begin to learn a new normal and then all of a sudden you’re wrapped right back into the hurt and pain like the death has just occurred.

I took a few moments. I shut off the CD and slowly breathed in and out. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Eddie. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish he was still here with me.

I will never pretend that I know everything about grief. I don’t know why I was affected like I was while listening to the CD. Maybe because I subconsciously realized I was coming upon the fourteenth. Maybe because there have been a few things happening in my life that I really wish I could talk to him about. Whatever, it doesn’t even matter. It still sucks.

I just miss him so much. It doesn’t matter how many months pass by, no amount of time can erase the love that I have for him. I will carry him with me for the rest of my life. And I will gladly take all of the sadness and pain; honest. Because grief wouldn’t hurt so much if I didn’t love Eddie so much. That’s what this life is about. That’s the only thing that makes sense. Love.

Maybe next time I pop in Pimsleur Basic Polish I won’t have to stop my car. Or maybe I will. But I do know, whenever I hear the word ‘pani’ I’ll think of Eddie and no matter what, I’ll remember how blessed I was to have him in my life.

 

 

On handling negativity.

I’ve learned a lot of important lessons while being a funeral director. Lessons that I don’t believe I would have been blessed with in my young age if it were not for the career I’ve chosen. I’m forever thankful for that.

I’m learning a lot of other lessons through sharing myself and my journey online.

I was just going through some of my old posts when I came upon one comment in particular in which the person who wrote it had nothing good to say about me. Honestly, it got me down.

That’s the thing about openly sharing things through the internet. You’re inviting people in. These people are only getting a glimpse of who you are and what you do. And like my mama always says, not everyone is going to like you.

I feel like people read what I post because they’re curious. I’m a funeral director and that’s not a common career choice. I’d be curious too, if this wasn’t my ‘normal’. But people don’t like me. I’m not saying that people don’t like ‘Lauren”, but people don’t like “Lauren the Funeral Director”. They don’t like me because I represent one of the worst experiences of their lives. I am an evil necessity.

After reading this particular comment and feeling low because of it for a moment (or longer, let’s be real) I quickly realized that this person was judging me for a mere glimpse into who I am as a person. They have no idea who I am, as a whole. And I could let their words bother me, or I could shake it off, because one person’s opinion on me does not define my worth.

I’m going to keep sharing my ideas and experiences so I’m going to continue to invite people into my online world. But I hope, that I can invite in more people who think deeply about their lives and their mortality. And my wish, is that these people would think a little harder about how they live their lives. I hope, that I inspire people to hug their loved ones a little tighter and say “I’m sorry” when they’re wrong. I hope that these people talk to their families about their own final arrangements, so when their time on this earth is complete, their family is a little more prepared.

There are always going to be people who don’t like you, but do you know what’s awesome about that? Their negativity is not your problem. If someone holds hurtful words or hatred in their heart, they are poisoning themselves, not you. These words can only hurt you if you let them. So pick yourself up and brush it off, because you are amazing! You hold the power to change lives, so be the sunshine on a person’s face, not a cloud over their head.

You can like me or hate me, but I know who I am and I’m proud of the women that I’m constantly becoming. And eventually, you’re going to need someone like me who is involved in the death care industry. (But hopefully, that’s not for a very long time.)