Strange Life

What a strange life I have.  I spend my Life waiting for Death.  My Life revolves around the phone call telling me that my services are needed.  I make plans, only to have them changed.  I remember a dinner party that I was giving several years ago when my guests arrived to find a note saying “Everything is ready.  Please serve yourselves.  We will be back soon.”

I do not consider myself unreliable, I am just unpredictable.  For the past 18 years of owning our funeral home I have been on call, ready to work when ever I am needed.  My family and friends have understood but it has not always made them happy.  I have changed plans, even cancelled vacations, to be there when a family needed me.  It was just part of my Life or maybe I should say It was my Life and still is for the time being.

My business has changed in many ways.  There are not as many deaths in our community; families want less services; fewer and fewer people see the value in having their loved ones body present.  Too many of the living say, “oh, just cremate me and spread my ashes in the back yard.”

I want to scream STOP.  I want to reach out and tell people that there is great importance in the rituals that are part of Death.  The human body may be a temple for the soul but it is also a loved vessel that was a human being.  It should be cared for not just disposed of.

A new friend of mine told me that she did not want to see her grandmother in her casket because “she did not want to see a dead person made up to look like a living person.”  That certainly has me thinking.

There must be a middle ground between the fancy caskets and the direct cremation.  I am searching  and will keep doing so as I keep trying to live my Life and continue to wait for Death.


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1 Response to Strange Life

  1. Rochelle Clark says:

    As a hospice nurse and lover of cemeteries, your post really struck a chord with me. I think people are so far removed from death that they are frightened of it. Family members still die in nursing homes and hospitals, nicely cleaned up and whisked away to the funeral home, which finishes the job. Our food comes wrapped in cellophane at the supermarket. With cremation no one has to look at the face of death. Just hurry up and get through it, nice and tidy. I am dead set against spreading ashes because of the lack of reverence, even if unintended. I know a lady who threw her husband’s ashes into the lake from her dock. Now she can’t go down to the lake anymore because she could see bits of bone resting on the lake bottom. Can’t get that picture out of her head.

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