Family and friends mark the anniversary of a death of a loved one in many ways. Some visit the cemetery, some gather for a meal and share memories, some reflect quietly at a favourite place that the deceased loved, for example.
There’s a certain magic to nostalgia. That old song that was played 10 years ago, the feel of your feet as they tread an old familiar path. It’s the wistfulness of times gone by and echoes of lives lived.
Working in the Funeral industry aged 20 and female comes with its challenges from the very beginning. I believe that most people when knocking on the door of a funeral home would expect to be greeted by a gentleman that has years of experience within the industry. What I didn’t realise was that this perception would be an obstacle I would have to deal with quite frequently.
Time flies and its 4 years since you have passed away. How are you there?
Mom, I miss the time that we spent together. You taught me so many things. Although we argued a lot when you were here, I know that you wanted me to be a responsible, honest and hardworking person. I still remember how we spent a lot of time in the office together and I learnt so much from you. All the knowledge that you provided has become a treasure for me today. I deeply appreciate that.
Every single person that has lost a loved one will know all too well the feeling of pain it can cause. I cannot help but feel though that there has been some sort of precedence set when it comes to dealing with that pain. Everyone will have their own way of dealing with such trauma, and that is perfectly ok, so long as that it is natural to them.
We recently had our grandma’s funeral. Nan was 92 and had a lot of friends and dozens of grand-kids and great-grand-kids. She also played bingo at the local church and had many friends in the neighbourhood.
Do your children, grandchildren and friends know the defining moments of your life? Do they know the day you laughed so hard you cried? Do they know your proudest achievement or your favourite teacher? Do they know who taught you to ride a bike, swim or drive a car?
After working in the funeral industry now for six years, having had no experience working with funeral directors, cemetery staff or anything to do with end of life planning, the one thing that continues to amaze me is the work that the funeral directors undertake. There is no other job in the world that I can think of where the business owners themselves and their staff are on call 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. All of this, to serve families in their most difficult time and to bring some comfort to those in need.
I wanted to share with you this story which I hope means something to those that read this. This is the story of my father Grant McLeanwho left us on November 1, 2016 and is now looking down on my mum, my two brothers, my sister and our families. This little narrative is describing the journey of grief I am enduring and how I am finding comfort and strength with what is still a very emotional time.