little miss funeral

an average girl working at your not so average job

Tag: woman funeral director

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.)

Lessons from a college course.

When I was in Mortuary School, I took this one grief class. During the first day, the professor told all of the students to take out a sheet of paper. She instructed us to flip it horizontally and draw a line. I was told to write the year of my birth at one end and the present year all the way down at the other.

Okay, cool. So we were making some sort of timeline.

My professor went on to explain that grief does not occur only when we lose someone we love in death. There are many factors that can cause us as humans to grieve. So she said to write down all of our major life events in which we experienced grief.

My first year was in 2002 when my grandpa died. Pretty standard, I thought.

My second year was in 2009, when my now husband and I broke up for a six month time period.

I wrote a couple more dates in my timeline, periodically sneaking a peak at one of my classmates and feeling relived that I did not have as many dates written down as they had.

That exercise taught me that life throws curve balls. Changes in relationships, jobs and life can cause deep emotions. So don’t let anyone tell you the pain your feeling is unjustified.

I have scars on my heart because of the experiences I have gone through. But I also have happy memories and positive experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today.

Life is hard and unfair. People can be cruel and mean. Words can cut you deeper than any knife.

But I fully believe that there is more good in the world than evil. We were given our hearts to show compassion and love. We can be understanding and supportive.

Your timeline may have many dates written on it, but those dates do not define you. All of the grief that you have gone through and that you will go though has made you into the person you are today. You are strong. You are beautiful and you got this.

I’ve learned to lean on those around me during these difficult times. And I’ve learned to put my faith in my God when all else fails. As I get older, I’ll write down more dates where I’ve experienced grief. The death of my dog, Bandit, is a more recent one. It’s only natural that there will be more to come as well.

But I am strong. I am beautiful and I got this. (Breathe.)