little miss funeral

an average girl working at your not so average job

Tag: journey

Five years later.

They say if you make it past the first five years in the funeral business, you’re in it for life. I guess statistically, with those first five years you are at the highest risk for burnout. I know. I almost dropped out after two. But I made some changes and kept trudging through. And here I am. Five years later.

When I look back on my twenty year old self, fresh-faced right out of mortuary school, I feel mixed emotions. My first two years working in the business were some of the happiest and hardest times of my life. I learned more in my first two months than I could have ever hoped to learn in my two years at school. And I also experienced a lot of pain. Emotionally, I gave my entire self to the families I served and my co-workers, leaving nothing left for me. Physically, I pushed my five-foot-two frame to the max as I embalmed and transported bodies twice my size. My spirit and back both broke over time.

But no matter what, I would never change my journey. I am forever grateful to my colleagues for pushing me. If it were not for them, I would not have the knowledge that I do today. But maybe most importantly, I would not have the respect for myself that I do today. I am grateful to my parents, who became a net to catch me when I fell into a deep depression, questioning my career and choices. And I am forever grateful to my husband (or boyfriend, back then) for loving me unconditionally even when I was a miserable prick.

You see, the people we surround ourselves with shape who we become. And in my darkest of times, I had the lightest people by my side.

Today at work, a man approached me  and asked how I got into this business. I politely laughed explaining it’s in the family. He seemed satisfied with that answer and as he turned away from me he said,”But you know, it is a calling.”

Whether it’s my calling or my curse, statistically, I guess I’m in it for the long run.

Another first.

It has been brought to my knowledge that today is National Dog Day.

And I was greeted by faces of some of the most lovable looking pups throughout social media. And normally, looking at adorable fur babies would make my heart jump with joy. Except this is the first National Dog Day without my dog. So instead, my heart hurts.

I know about grief. I know how it can be a sneaky fellow that suffocates you when you least expect it. I know that it’s normal to be sad. It’s normal to cry, especially in the first year after a death, because you’re experiencing all of the ‘firsts’. And that’s where I am today. Another first that tugs at my soul and makes the wound feel fresh. Because I loved my boy with all my heart. And being separated from that love hurts.

But as those who have walked the path of grief before me, I know that I’ll get through it. And as I grow and live and lose others, I will continue to walk this journey. And I’m learning, even though my heart aches, that this is a wonderful journey. And I’d lose Bandit all over again, because he was one of the first ones to teach me about love. And that’s what makes life beautiful.