Over the past year, I've cried at two funerals. They've both been within the past month. One was for a little girl, and the other was for the father of one of my two closest friends in the world.
When you're in the funeral business, or really any business that deals with death like nursing or hospice or whatever... caregivers for lack of a better term... you numb yourself to the experience. It starts to become hard to hold on to empathy and sympathy. You deal with one family, put out their "fire," and then you're done. Time to move on to the next emergency. It becomes harder to connect or empathize with people on a true emotional level because you automatically disconnect yourself from their situation, you have a job to do. It's a bad thing because the more you disconnect yourself the more it seems like anything less than death isn't a good enough emotion.
But sometimes, you can't disconnect yourself. The emotions run too deep or you care about the people involved too much. And that's when the tears come.
I did my best to help them make arrangements and I had to constantly remind myself that not everyone has done this before, and furthermore, not everyone does this for a living. Stuff that I've learned to take for granted as "duh," most people have no clue, and I sound like a dick if I heave a sigh and sound exasperated for having to explain something again. That would be fine to do that if I were telling my friend of 20 years directions to play Monopoly and finally just going Jesus! Google it!
But that's a way different thing. It's hard (for me at least) to separate my friends from how I've always treated them and how I should treat them based on the situation. I don't mean to be an asshole, I just kind of end up one sometimes.
Regardless, I did the little that I could to help, both with the little girl's funeral and comforting her parents and trying to set them up with aftercare and in the few days leading up to today's funeral for Kim Pilkinton.
Since the funeral was at one of the sister funeral homes I work at I knew the staff and trusted them and I looked around the place for our company wide grief packets, but Adam later said that his father had left stacks of them for him anyways.
No matter what you believe in; Heaven, reincarnation, the Circle of Life and becoming soil, the fact is that no one is ever truly dead. We have pictures and videos and even more than that we have stories and memories. We pass that on to our children and grandchildren, and that's what matters.