Where are you? Here
What time is it? Now
What are you? This moment.
I remember the morning of my Nannas' passing. We, as a family had rushed to be at her side but coming too late to see her for one last time in this earthly life. Life had forever changed.
We leave the dark hospital halls to a new day emerging outside. The leaves on the trees had been kissed by morning dew that was softly dripping to the ground below, the tall blades of grass brush together making a raspy sound as I wander through it, the sun was rising and shone down in halos of light gracing the earth, the air was crisp and cold, but I wasn't, I was nothing, I was numb.
The utter disbelief of what had just happened on that spring morning had barely even began to sink in. As my family all gathered beneath that tree, I felt nothing, heard nothing but at the same time I noticed everything.
In that moment I remembered a passage my Dad would read to me as a child and one that has resonated with me my whole life "there are no ordinary moments" as much as I believe this and try to live, present in each moment I realise the only times I truly notice the small 'seemingly insignificant' parts of life are in death.
Sadly, I have been there, in that place numerous times in my life since that day. I can say with all certainty that it never gets any easier.
Being a funeral director is only one small part of who I am. I am a mum to three beautiful babies, I am a partner to a beautiful soul, I am a daughter to strong empowering parents, I am a sister to my kindred spirits, I am an aunty to fierce little people, I am a friend to many who know me on deep levels, I am a survivor of child sexual abuse, I am a warrior of my own story and I am a sorrower for my own loss.
My work as a Funeral Director gives me the ability to see each person in their absolute purity, usually accompanied with an outpouring of love and respect for the person that was. The families I am honoured to serve become some of our closest companions as the heart they wear on their sleeve becomes part of the patch I wear on mine, and together we mourn and celebrate a life they have been so fortunate and privileged to be a part of.
I believe there are people in this industry for all the wrong reasons, I am not one of them. I am not after market share, to grow and become the most successful or compete with others for business.
I believe this industry, my industry, chose me to provide people with the time, dedication and empathy needed to survive loss. My experiences have moulded me and for that I am eternally grateful.
If only I could go back to that morning and have one more conversation, one more moment, hold her or better yet have her hold me like she used to. My Nanna was a strong, independent, resilient woman who taught me so much. She encompassed family values and radiated unconditional love. I will forever miss and cherish her.
My experiences, however, hard have made me humble and keep me true to myself.
I am not just a person in a suit on the other side of the table, I am one of you.