little miss funeral

an average girl working at your not so average job

Tag: holidays

December 16, 2015: Where the road ends.

I blogged about this a few days ago although I kind of tiptoed around it.

My aunt is dying.

It shouldn’t be long now.

She’s had cancer for about a year and a half. Not a good one, as if there can be a “good” cancer. We knew where the road ended. The last time I saw her was on Thanksgiving and she looked great. The next time I see her will be when I pick up her body.

I’m distancing myself. I know I am. But I just can’t bring myself to go and see her. My mom tells me that she’s just sleeping now, anyways. Eyes closed and lightly snoring. She’s comfortable, they say. I really hope they’re right.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an actress. I was loud and crazy and always looking for attention. One day when I was maybe ten or so, my aunt pulled me close to her and made me promise that I’d follow my dream.

A few months back she made me promise that I’d take care of her body and stay with her when her time came.

I’m not going to break one of those promises.

December 9, 2015: Part of the family.

Today I received not so good news about a family member of mine. It’s not like it’s anything that we weren’t expecting. It’s just that we  always thought we had more time.


That’s the thing, isn’t it? We never know when the clock is going to run out.

I hate being a funeral director during moments like this. Moments when my uncle calls me asking for advice. Moments when I have to step out of ‘being part of the family’ and into my role as a funeral director. It’s hard. It’s the holidays. I shouldn’t have to be doing this.

After the news (and after my arrangement and preneed conferences) I went out to eat with my husband, mom, dad, brother and sister-in-law. And I drank a few margaritas. Probably a few more than I should have. (Could you guys tell?) I don’t care, though. Sometimes you need to forget that you’re a funeral director. Sometimes you just need to be part of the family.

December 6, 2015: Little things.

Honestly, part of me wanted to just skip today’s post because I did not have anything prepared. (Part of me still does.)

But as I lay in bed typing this I have my six month old puppy asleep at my feet and my husband next to me.

I have it all.

December 4, 2015: Death in the check out line.

True story.

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.

Not good.

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.

December 3, 2015: Traditions.

Traditions are a good thing. In the funeral industry, we see a lot of different traditions that help guide people through a death. Whether it’s a religious tradition that gives someone’s heart peace or something as simple as gathering photos together for a visitation, when someone we loves dies, we need a purpose to keep going.

I did not realize that the Christmas Eve tradition of the Christmas wafer, Oplatki, was a Polish tradition until I brought my boyfriend (now husband) to my family’s Christmas some ten years ago. Coming from a German background, he had no idea what we were doing. I thought he was nuts.

 I love traditions. I think that they give us something to look forward to and something to pass on to the younger generations. In times of confusion, such as a funeral, they give us a reason to keep moving forward. Sometimes you just need to keep busy.

I’m looking forward to Santa coming to my family’s Christmas Eve this year, just like the years passed. After giving the younger kids their gifts, we all sing Christmas carols together before he leaves. It’s created many memories for me and I know my little cousins will have great memories, too.

And my husband has gotten used to the Oplatki. I think it has become a tradition that he enjoys. Something that we will continue to pass on to our kids one day as well.