I lead a double life. During the day I’m a creative professional working at the best ad agencies around. In my spare time I work on a funeral website, network in the death care industry and blog about my own final party. I love what I do – on both ends.
In the creative side of my life, I work with people who know how to push the limits, want to inspire others with their craft and come to work every day hoping to challenge themselves and everyone around them. The funeral industry is just as inspiring and not at all what you would expect. Most of the people I meet never intended to be in the funeral profession but they had a life-changing, personal experience that inspired them to be there. What other industry can you say that about? I’m so lucky.
In my professional and personal life, I don’t tell people about my funeral work because the reaction I get is avoidance or a look most would relate to hearing the detailed description of an oozing wound. If I don’t time it right I end up feeling apologetic…like I’ve said or done something to offend them. Only after they get to know me really well do I let them in on my double life, but even then it’s hard to avoid that “look”.
Last night I was working late and the group I was working with was laughing at things that are only funny when you’ve been doing one thing for way too long. While we waited for the next thing to do I started playing the song CUPS (You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone) and told them it was one of my funeral songs. I thought it was funny, but I’m guessing they didn’t from the look they gave me. I guess it’s too early to tell them!
It made me realize what a tough battle it is to get people to accept conversations about death. I encounter BIG personalities every day- people who hate boundaries and love the unusual but even among this crowd, this conversation isn’t easy.