Funeral Directors choose a life of service. It comes with the territory.
“Let me check my calendar.”
It’s something my friends and family have heard time and time again from me. They make jokes about how I’m always on call and never have time for them, but they always forgive me. My career is a choice that doesn’t come without its fair share of sacrifices.
Unfortunately, that also sometimes means choosing the families I serve over my own. I’ve missed weddings, birthday celebrations, baby showers and family events. My friends have had children and some of them have no idea who I am.
While a difficult choice, it’s one I would make over and over again. There’s something about walking a family through the most difficult time in their life that is unlike any other human experience. We get a peek into an incredibly fragile part of their circle, and are allowed entry in order to help repair it.
With my free time being incredibly limited, and necessarily scheduled, I’ve come to realize a few things about myself that I thought I’d share.
- I’ve learned to appreciate shared time in a real way. I now have very little interest in surface conversation, and am actively working to make every interaction meaningful in some way.
- I’ve come to respect the time of other people. Time truly is a gift, and it should be appreciated when people offer theirs to you.
- I’ve found comfort in demanding respect for my time. It’s alright to stand up to people who are inexcusably late, or flaky. It shows that they do not care enough about your limited amount of free time. This revelation puts the level of importance you hold in their life into perspective.
There is a special place in the clouds reserved for the people in my life who put up with my ridiculous schedule, and I promise, I’ll try to be as involved as I possibly can.
I’ll just need a minute to check my calendar first.