I’ve always hated the phrase “New Year, New Me”. By continuously reinventing yourself, there isn’t any room for growth.
This is something that we hear time and time again as each new year rears its head. The previous year has come to an end and everyone is filled with the hope that this next year just has to be better. All of this hope tends to culminate in a “I’ll start on the 1st”, attitude.
As you know, death has no time clock. Most funeral homes have someone available to speak with families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. “I know it’s New Years Day, but she’s really pushy. Can you at least talk to her?” It was the answering service. The on-call director wasn’t answering. The office was closed, I wasn’t even scheduled to be on call, and I was annoyed. To make things worse, I was at the Rose Bowl Stadium setting up to tailgate before the game.
Most of these calls could easily wait until the next business day, but I get it. People are scared, anxious, and don’t know what to do next. They just need someone to talk them through what the next few days will entail. I begrudgingly agreed, and told her to patch the call through, while I excused myself to sit in the car.
Courtney went out with her friends to celebrate starting a fresh chapter. She and her boyfriend had just broken up, and she was ready to take on the new year. It was a great night. Her mother threw the biggest NYE party at their family home. Open bar, live music, great food. Eventually it got late, and her mother insisted she stay the night, but Courtney wanted to sleep in her own bed. She thought she could make the drive home. It was only 3 miles. She was wrong.
“ I just want something simple.”
“No problem, we can definitely work out all of the service details when we meet tomorrow.”
After about 20 minutes of walking her through every step of the cremation process and about how long it would take before she would be able to take her daughter’s remains home, I was able to end the call, and rejoin my friends.
For some, starting a new year means adjusting to a new normal. It’s a blatant reminder that they are stepping into a new space without someone who once made them feel whole.
This year, rather than looking to shift into a new person, let’s commit to growth and healing.
Here’s to you.