In “pretty” terms, I am a Funeral Director and no longer a mortician. I no longer drive a hearse but a “coach.” I don’t perform funerals but “Celebrations of Life.” A vault is now an “outer burial container,” and I do more cremations than “traditional funerals.”
I’ve cremated cats, dogs, and bunnies. I’ve seen grandmas, grandpas, and baby brothers. This job is macabre. Let no one tell you it isn’t.
I do the work no one else wants to do . . . or think about.
My wardrobe is black, and I must pay inflated prices for comfy dress shoes – black, of course.
People walk in off the street, sobbing, needing arrangements for a loved one who just passed. I gulp back the knot in my throat and proceed with paperwork at hand. Not allowed to show emotion, I stay composed and offer strength to the hurting person by my side. I can release later – when the mind and body reach exhaustion and fall into bed, dishes unwashed and laundry unwashed. Glad to have merely fed the cat. Headache keeps time with the pulse in my temples. I have no energy for tears, just a sad heart.
When I sleep, my mind works through day’s events – in nightmare form. Death and dying . . . it’s my job. -by Lea Milford