In our line of work, we can’t take the pain away from people when they lose a loved one. What we can do is offer some form of comfort for them. We try so hard to assist them with their funeral planning, providing videos of their loved ones as a lasting memorial, and printing programs for the service. A lot of times people save those as little keepsakes. Frankly, it is our job to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible on the actual day of the service. Leading up to it, though, we offer a listening ear and shoulder to cry on. We think of the little details so the families don’t have to.
Some families have everything already lined up in a pre-need, so the wishes of their loved one was made known prior to their passing. It does make things flow a little better when this happens, as hard decisions do not have to be made. The person already made those for their family. It is easy when pre-planning is involved. However, a lot of times, other people can’t fathom the thought of planning their own funeral. That was ME prior to my employment here!
I’ll never forget my very own grandmother even going so far as to have her bronze foot marker ordered and installed at the cemetery!
I was just a little girl, having just lost her great-grandmother, strolling through the cemetery when I saw it. My grandmother’s name … what? How could this be? She was alive and well … WHY was this stone there?! Tears began to fill my eyes, and my grandmother realized what was happening. She walked over and put her arms around me in an effort to comfort my little heart that broke when I saw her name in the cemetery. She smiled and said I would understand “one day …” and although I didn’t believe her at that time, I do now!
There have been many times I’ve comforted people right in my very own office at work, too. When they come to me, they think they are ready to take the final step in the process; ordering a grave headstone or foot stone. I’ve sat there offering not just tissues to these families but hugs when they are falling apart in front of me. I will be honest and admit that I’m so tender hearted that I’ve teared up with these families at times. It would take an incredibly cold hearted person to remain unaffected in this line of work. I’m not that person. In fact, I think I’m better suited for this position since I do have compassion for people and want to help ease their pain in some way.
It is rare that you get the opportunity to comfort people while you work. But that is what we’re here for more than anything else; providing comfort in the most difficult of times.