People can’t understand why I am passionate about funerals.

Weddings, OK, but funerals …???

The key reason is that I get a lot of satisfaction helping people when they are (often) at their lowest ebb. I come in, usually as an outsider, and give them information they will need, answer questions they may have and offer them a listening ear.

I give them reassurance.

I show that putting together a funeral service is not so hard, and the results can be very satisfying to all concerned.

I am privileged to hear things some of the rest of the family may not have heard before. For the week or so between being given the contact details and the funeral, I build up a bond between the next-of-kin and myself.

When I conduct the ceremony, I often receive heartfelt thanks afterwards, which is very rewarding. You can’t beat things like, “Uncle Dave would have loved that” or “I really enjoyed the service”.

Less significant perhaps, but I appreciate the variety of the work. No two families’ stories are the same. I meet some lovely people. I get a kick out of being there for folk who are often confused, angry, grieving or bewildered. The personal touch is very important – even if more of it is done remotely these days.

On a trivial note, I guess, I also enjoy relationships I have made with funeral directors and their teams, and with crematorium staff. And I do get the chance to visit some lovely cemeteries that I would never otherwise see.

I conclude, as I began, with an autumnal scene from Gunnersbury Cemetery.

Perhaps now you’ll get some sort of an idea why I love my job!

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