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To the Very Last Person to Ever Touch My Daughter on Earth

Avery Johanna McCarthy
10.05.01 - 10.24.12

You were the very last person to ever touch my daughter on earth. You took her stilled, silent body and you washed her. You changed her into the clothes I had brought over in a brown paper bag. Her favorite blue jeans, a bright blue t-shirt with a tank top underneath. Years later, I'd panic, convinced I had forgotten to bring fresh, clean underwear. I contacted the people at the funeral home - can you believe we've become such good friends? I was told that when a family forgets something like that, they simply discretely provide it.

You helped me to understand that it was okay to put fuzzy socks on her feet. You patiently slipped them on her.

You took the down comforter I passed to your hands and listened as I explained through choppy breaths and a stream of tears that she'd need to be wrapped up in it - like a burrito. Because that's how she watched TV. Burrito wrapped in her blanket.

You wrapped her up tightly. And you laid her down gently for the very last time.

I honestly have no idea what compels someone to become a funeral director. I can't imagine many high school career counselors hear that one. In your case, this was a family business, but you could have done anything.

Instead, you chose to comfort the brokenhearted. You chose a profession where you see people at their weakest and most vulnerable. During the times where we are so lost we have literally no idea how we will behave. Some sit stone still, others rage. Some cry, others are in denial. Families fight in front of you, bringing up old, unnecessary wounds when all that should be done is to write the obituary and get it into the paper.

You see the absolute worst life has to offer. A front and center seat to the most horrible of all horribles. Children. Innocents. Disease. Accidents. Heartache. Fathers. Mothers. And those so alone no one comes to cry for them at all.

And yet, you aren't hardened. You aren't cold. You aren't even angry.

In fact, it seems the exact opposite; that your heart continues to grow and grow with unlimited compassion and a gentleness that seems to be unattainable for the rest of us. You love strangers in the most intimate of ways. You care for them. And you do it so gently. So beautifully. As if you know how truly honorable it is to dress the dead.

I wasn't able to see Avery after -- in fact, you looked me right in the eyes and asked me what my last memory of her was. I told you about that morning. How stunningly beautiful I noticed her to be. That she seemed bathed in golden light when she was standing at the bathroom mirror, when she was sitting in the passenger seat flicking on the CD. That light followed her all morning. I told you how she took my breath away when she sang. How I caught a glimpse of her as her older self but not quite - she looked like an angel. I explained how my words were at a complete loss when she looked back as she got out of the car: You know, Mom, I really am a God Girl. I smiled and shook my head, this sweet, sweet girl of mine, as she skipped away.

"Hold on to that," you said. "You don't need this."

I knew what you meant. You were saving me from a memory I didn't need to have. You took on for yourself what you knew I shouldn't have to be hurt by. An image that no mother should ever have to face. How many times have you done that? How many times have you chosen the heartache for yourself to save a stranger from theirs?

I can't imagine it's easy for you. In a society where we're keen on asking what people do for a living and griping about our jobs at dinner parties, where do you fit? When you haven't been to any of your child's soccer games and you miss the parent-teacher conference because you're answering someone else's crisis, how do you reconcile that? When you have to ditch last minute because a stranger's funeral had to be held that particular day, what do you feel when the pictures come back and your date is, once again, alone? How many people have you cared for, comforted, held up and yet they look away awkwardly when you pass them in the grocery store or at the gas station - not because of anything more than they're just trying desperately to figure out their new normal and they're afraid they're going to lose it so they pretend not to see you because that's the only way they know how to deal? How many times have you been avoided simply because of the job you do?

I imagine it might be very lonely for you at times.

I want to tell you thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I hope you know that what you do for others - what you did for me - will always mean more than anyone can ever explain. Thank you for choosing the hard road, the difficult journey. Thank you for showing up and taking the lead when everyone else is lost and has no idea what to do. Thank you for staying late. Thank you for listening to our stories. Thank you for making us feel that we matter. Thank you for your professionalism. Thank you for your kindness. And thank you for your compassion.

And, thank you, for tucking Avery in one very last time.


Comments

Re RyderDuffey said…
What a beautiful tribute. I am sorry for your loss. One of the most gut wrenching you face in this world.
Unknown said…
A little bit of us dies along with your loss . . . . we feel your pain and it becomes our pain. We have been in the funeral business over 20 years . . .and have held your hearts in our hearts. Thank you for trusting us with your loved one!
Unknown said…
Before every single service, before I walk the family in to the sanctuary or chapel, I take a moment to tell them Thank You. Thank you for allowing us the honor to care for them, for their loved one, and give them the assurance that our care does not end after the funeral. This letter is so beautiful and humbling to read. Thank you for sharing, because it means the world to us funeral directors to know that we are also being cared for.
Unknown said…
I also want to thank funeral directors. I've had to go through this losing my first husband was was 31, my son at 22, and my dad at 75. It's not easy to be in this sad situation but I truly give the funeral home my blessings and to thank them for tucking them in for the last time
Unknown said…
I also want to thank funeral directors. I've had to go through this losing my first husband was was 31, my son at 22, and my dad at 75. It's not easy to be in this sad situation but I truly give the funeral home my blessings and to thank them for tucking them in for the last time
John Horan said…
As a funeral director, I must tell you this touches my heart. And it is even more meaningful in light of the pain you feel for the loss of Avery that you cared so much as to share this. There is much that can be taught in this work. And there is much that some just "get" and apply to helping others face the hardest times of their lives. Your funeral director is a special person and too often unacknowledged. Because of what you shared, I can assure you that she or he is walking taller today and more committed than ever to helping the next family facing the pain of a tragic death. May peace be with you...
Unknown said…
Thank you for sharing your experiences so eloquently. My husband and I are both funeral directors, I haven't read something this touching about our profession - ever. I so needed to read this today, this is a profession that I love, it's rewarding, and I believe that I'm fulfilling the purpose God has called me to do. There are moments, days and times that it is so very difficult, and I appreciate the fact that you took the time to acknowledge your funeral director, and our profession. Thank you. Praying for you as you continue to grieve the loss of your precious daughter.
Unknown said…
I have been in the funeral service for 50 years. This is the most kind and sincerely comments I have ever read. Thank You
Unknown said…
This is so incredibly touching to read. Next year will mark my 25th anniversary in the funeral business. I could never relay the honor it is to be trusted with the final act of caring for someone's loved one. Each detail is performed with love and gentleness. I often imagine the deceased as an infant, fragile and new. In death, they too are fragile, much like a well used piece of fine China. They must be treated with the utmost care and respect. They only have one funeral. All must be done correctly and to one's best ability. I thank God often that He chose me to do this unusual but important job as a career. Thank God to the directors for the care they gave to Avery and may her memory live brightly. God bless your family.
I have never read anything quite so touching, so from the heart and yet so honest. Thank you for this note and thank those who are there for our friends and loved ones.
Kevin K said…
That was absolutely beautiful ❤. Brought tears to my eyes.

I just lost my 20 year old daughter 4 weeks ago so I share your pain. Fortunately, my uncle, whom I am very close with is a funeral director. Although, he doesn't take care of family members personally, his staff were wonderful. Right down to making sure she had her favourite band shirt on and her cow slippers.

I couldn't thank them enough for all they did for me and my family. They are truly special people.
Disciple said…
As one who has spoken to many young people about future careers, I was especially touched at your comment about High school counselors who hear about people who want to work in this special ministry. They are few and far between, and they have a hard time in this world, because they, like counselor's of all types, are sensitive. They feel the pain others feel and honor the memories as they carry that last memory.
This is one of the most beautiful blogs I have read in my life.
I know the light you are talking of, I remember seeing it in a youth who was a part of our youth group, the morning before he passed. That special light that can only radiate when someone is on their way to their eternal home.
Unknown said…
I have been to 6 funeral this year and 4 of them were at the same Funeral Home. The Fundy Funeral Home well these people treat your loved ones with the most respected as well as their families. Their passion and caring is that this just isn't a job to them, they treat all as if they were their family. I know 2 of them from Fundy and to them it is an honor to take care of your loved ones and I have seen it each time I went there.
Unknown said…
Honestly, one of the most touching things I have ever read. Your words are so powerful and emotional - I completely lost myself reading them.

You bring up something that we don't think about, and it makes me sad that I didn't thank the funeral directors my family worked with at our most difficult and painful time in our lives. You could not be more right about them. They are a gift and the kindness they show to the people they work with can not be shared enough. Thank you for sharing this beautiful article. May you find peace and the ability to continue on each day with the beautiful memories you have of your daughter. Thinking of you this morning.
Unknown said…
One of the most beautiful tributes I've ever read. Brought tears to my eyes and you're so right a lot of people dont realize how hard it must be to be in this profession. I applaud all funeral directors and funeral caregivers it must be tough to have to deal with all the sadness and tears. We have a great funeral home in our area and they are the most amazing and kind people I've ever met, theyve taken care of a few of our family and friends...Farber Funeral Home...Dan and the funeral director Julie helped with comforting my mom when my grandma died and them just being there comforting, listening, caring to my mom was amazing. It really is a job u have to be passionate about and have sympathy and empathy toward the deceased and their loved ones. God bless this woman for taking the time to honor the people a lot of us don't think to honor and thank.
Lex Valentine said…
Thank you for your words. I'm not a funeral director but I'm one of the staff that works behind the scenes at a mortuary/cemetery. I've been in this industry almost 20 years and one of my co-workers, who sat beside me for 10 years, passed last night. I know the people I work with will treat her like family even though most of them never met her. The reason I know this is because they are every syllable of the words you spoke above. We all treat every family that comes here as if they were our own. In many ways, working in a place like this where you hear and see tears literally every day, is a calling. And you do have to have a special kind of heart to bear witness to the grief of others and care for their loved ones. Bless you for the words with which you've painted such a beautiful picture of what those of us who work at mortuaries and cemeteries do.
Gwen said…
I have often wondered why people would choose to enter this profession but after reading this letter I think I might get it at least a bit. Like any other profession where you take care of people, this must be a calling. To be able to provide any measure of comfort to a family in their darkest hour is a personality trait that cannot be taught.

I have been to far more funerals then I would care to; some beautiful, some not. It was very obvious which ones were run by people who cared. Thanks to all of you who do.
Sherry said…
I am a funeral director’s wife. You have described my husband. Thank you for your true and kind words.
Bonnie said…
What a wonderful tribute. I can't even remember the wonderful woman's name that gently told me why our son's shirt appeared to small as I worried if I grabbed the wrong one.
Guilda Cyr said…
Am also a funeral director's wife. You have also discribed my husband. Thank you for this very nice tribute...
Patti Calder said…
I am the mother if a funeral director. It is so easy to forget just what a wonderful thing she does every day. She truly is a very special person and her family is often put on hold so she can be there for others. We are so proud of the choice she has made in her career. It isn't the easiest job for a mother of two small children but she always puts her heart into it. Thank you for the tribute❤
Susan Walker said…
So very beautiful. It is such a difficult time for a person(s) to bury a loved one especially if it is a child.
Susan from Clarkston, MI
Unknown said…
Tears...thank you for sharing!
Freddi Johnson said…
I saw this on a friend's post, opened & began reading..the tears started flowing. It's been 16 yrs in 2 months since my daughter, her husband & unborn child were killed. I wanted to see her & when they said no..I raged at the woman :( I thought she was in charge, but the funeral director himself took me to my daughter..he listened to me scream yet said nothing. Later at the viewing he was So comforting & thoughtful & showed us bruising that they had already covered with make-up twice & brought the police to prove a wrong statement by the press. I learned just this year that his staff knew my daughter & held a private ceremony of their own for her. I can't imagine how hard it was for them! They have to have the patience of Job! My thanks to ALL of you in the business.
Melinda Baker said…
What a beautiful tribute, not only bto her Daughter, but bless you all for what you do. I know it's a routine process for you. At the times any of my family passed, The funeral director comforts the family, and takes responsibility for their earthly remains. and bows to the families wishes. It's a difficult time for all, but you all make it easier to bear.
Amy Cummings said…
This is so beautifully written. Thank you for taking the time to put these thoughts to life. My husband is a fourth generation funeral director and in my opinion the best. I had tears reading words that hit home all too well. My two girls do miss some special moments with him but what he does is a ministry, a calling and it’s in his blood. He has a caring and compassion for people, all people, that is endless. He’s not just the one who takes care of the grieving, he’s the one who knows everyone in our small town, the one who makes those who sometimes feel invisible feel seen, the one who many mentally handicapped people in town stop in to visit with on a regular basis, the one people will call years after a service for a loved one to ask advice about things completely unrelated to death. And they all do this because hey know he really cares, really loves. When he gets a call in the middle of the night and I say “oh you have to go” which has happened hundreds of time in a 12 year marriage he always and I mean always says “I get to go” not have to.... it’s an honor to be his wife and thank you again for your beautiful words.
Unknown said…
This just brought tears to my eyes thinking of my own daughter I lost 17 years ago!
Unknown said…
I saw this reposted to a Facebook friend in Gardendale Al. and thought it a wonderful piece. Thank you for acknowledging some of our friends with the most difficult jobs. You have written a very outstanding tribute to both your child and the trustworthy keepers of the gate of life and death! Love, respect, and hope to you!!!
Unknown said…
Wow how Beautiful.......it brought tears to my eye.....
AnAngel07Mom said…
I can relate to this story immensely! I lost my daughter to DIPG at 10 1/2 years old. Our friend is a funeral director. He went over and beyond what is normally allowed for me and my husband to have peace. He even had her vault airbrushed with the most beautiful pictures of us as a family from past vacations, as a surprise to us at the cemetery at his expense. Funeral directors are special people with a heart of God. Prayers to all those that have buried their kids.
Monte Knippling said…
It has been ten years this year I lost my beloved daughter Jasmyn to an automobile accident, the funeral process was a haze to me. I could not have survived the process with out the expert guidance her mother and I recieved from our good friend and funeral director Ron Hawley. He was perfect for the task, and his guidance made the impossible somehow possible, and got us all through the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. God bless you Ron!!!!
Unknown said…
As a funeral home employee for 22 years, I cried when I read this. A piece of my heart went with each person we provided services for, but the children the innocent, were the most heart wretching. I can say with all my heart that my boss, now deceased exemplified the qualities every parent hopes for at this most horrible time of their life.
Frank Retired said…
Our daughter, who shared your beautiful and courageous and eloquent "thank you," has been a funeral director for 13 years, after she worked for a social service agency for 3 years after she graduated from college. We remember when she came home one day and said she was going back to school to become a funeral director. We could only think of a very few times she had ever even been to a funeral. She explained that really most of the profession was in working with the living. She is now the funeral director in charge of one of some 40 family run funeral homes. Her particular home serves some 700 families each year. Three years ago her only child, 7 months old, was killed. As he lay in the hospital and it was determined that he would not survive, she and her husband made the decision that he could be an organ donor, and he was able to donate his liver to a 10-month old little boy. We watched and struggled as one of her coworkers conducted the interview with her, as she had done so many times before with grieving parents, to determine the arrangements for her little boy. Throughout the entire ordeal, I kept thinking how our daughter went back and forth between "Mom" mode and "funeral director" mode. Our hearts shattered as we watched her and her husband seal his tiny casket, as funeral directors do. It was only some time afterwards that I learned that she had prepared his body and dressed him because, as hard as it was, it was the last thing she could do for him. My wife and I and our entire family are so proud of our daughter because she and her coworkers are proud and privileged to honor all those who trust their loved ones to them. We are so sorry you lost your little girl. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us.
Paige Waters said…
I'm the wife of a FD and we have a 5 year old daughter. I'm so sorry you lost your little girl. Thank you for seeing us. For seeing him. I just sobbed.
Tina Malley said…
My little boy died from SIDS just over five years ago. The Funeral Director where we live carried him just like he was a sleeping baby in his arms to take him out of the hospital and transport him for an autopsy. He made sure we knew in such a gentle way that he would need a cap to go with his outfit in order to cover his little head. He walked me gently through the whole process of picking everything out. When they brought his little casket into the church and then to his gravesight he carried his casket as though it was the most valuable possessions he owned. He actually told me what a privilege and honor it was for me allowing him to take care of him. Then on top of it all, because it was a baby only charged for the cost of what he had to pay for the casket, etc. Such a caring person. I have seen him several times since then and he always asks me how I have been doing. Such a caring place and our city is fortunate to have he and his family among us.
Unknown said…
As a mother to three beautiful daughters my heart truly aches at this poignant and touching tribute, my eldest Daughter Aneliese chose this incredibly difficult, compassionate vocation, I am so proud of her and all her work colleagues who give their all in such sad and heartbreaking times in people's lives. Bless all those who take this very somber position and give the utmost care to those who have gained their angel wings and those who grieve at their loss, I am both honored and humbled to know my girl provides guidance, understanding and empathy when those who are at their saddest and lowest need it most x x

Unknown said…
TWO MONTH SHORT OF 24 YEARS AGO I WENT TO WORK 2nd SHIFT , GOING BACK HOME NEVER EXPECTED TO FIND WHAT WAS THE SADDEST DAY OF MY LIFE.SIGO EN MI IDIOMA ,EN CASA ENCUENTRO MI FAMILIA Y UN PAR DE AMIGOS DE MI HIJO MAYOR , RICKY . DOLOR MAS GRANDE PARA UNA MADRE . MI HIJO MENOR RUBEN DE SOLO 22 YEARS , 4 MESES 18 DIAS FUE ENCONTRADO MUERTO EN NEW ORLEANS .MARIO BARQUIN QUERIDO COMO UN HIJO DESDE SIEMPRE SIENDO UN JOVEN DE 28 YEARS ERA YA FUNERAL DIRECTOR .DESDE ESE MISMO INSTANTE ME ASEGURO QUE DEJARA TODO EN SUS MANOS Y EL GUIO A MI HIJO MAYOR EN TODOS LOS TRAMITES NECESARIOS PARA TRAERLO A N.J. - MARIO LLEVO A CABO UN SERVICIO DONDE PUDIMOS DAR NUESTRO ULTIMO ADIOS A MI QUERIDO RUBEN ,TODAVIA HOY RECUERDO LA FORMA EN COMO PUDIMOS SOBRELLEVAR ESE GRAN DOLOR GRACIAS A MARIO . LAS PALABRAS QUE LEI DE LA MAMA DE AVERY ,ESCRITAS EN UNA FORMA TAN DETALLADA ME TRANSPORTO A AQUELLOS DIAS , Y ES ASI , EL PROFESIONALISMO Y ESE TOQUE HUMANO TAN GENUINO CON QUE SE COMPORTA MARIO HACE POSIBLE PODER LLEVAR EL ULTIMO ADIOS CON DIGNIDAD , GRACIAS SRA. POR DESCRIBIR TAN BIEN .
Nanc S. said…
I am so sorry for loss. I can not begin to imagine the pain you are experiencing. May God comfort you and give you peace, as only he is able. And may he give you the strength you need as you lean on him to get through this most difficult time in life. My family has known the Carson family for years. My aunt and uncle were close friends of Dorothy and Bill Carson, Don’s grandparents. It takes a special kind of person to be in the funeral business, with passion at the forefront. The Carsons’ have always been those kind of people. Maquoketa has been blessed to have them for all these years, with Rodney and Don carrying on what the senior Carsons’ had built.
Unknown said…
This was so true, and so touching. My sister who was 16 years younger than me very unexpectedly died. She was a donor. After her body returned to the funeral home, those of us who had not said good bye went. The director told us how sorry he was for our loss, and that she had lots of procedures, and so she only able to be viewed from the neck up. He was honestly sorry she was not perfect. She was perfect to us, but his concern was appreciated. He also explained the cremation process to us, as that was her wish.
I have been a funeral director for 33 years and I have never had anyone share such eloquent words about our profession like you have. It is so true. Your family is my family and I wouldn't have it anyother way. A friend and clergy tagged me in this on facebook. We are humbled and honoured that we can serve our families and our communities. God Bless the funeral director that took care of you and Avery at such a tragic time and thank you for sharing.
Billy Vasquez said…
When I found out about what happened,, couldn't believe it. She had such a good attitude on life a beautiful smile. I don't like to say sorry for your loss, because I believe you will never lose her. Every time you'll think about her she'll be there. When I had someone special in my life that went to heaven unexpectedly. It devastated me,, but like I said I feel like he was always around especially when I would miss and think about him. That's why I don't think we lose someone because they memories will live foreverand there images in your Heart.sorry for your pain,, I'll be praying for you.
Billy Vasquez said…
When I found out about what happened,, couldn't believe it. She had such a good attitude on life a beautiful smile. I don't like to say sorry for your loss, because I believe you will never lose her. Every time you'll think about her she'll be there. When I had someone special in my life that went to heaven unexpectedly. It devastated me,, but like I said I feel like he was always around especially when I would miss and think about him. That's why I don't think we lose someone because they memories will live foreverand there images in your Heart.sorry for your pain,, I'll be praying for you.
Mati said…
This reminded me so much of my mom. She had such a compassionate and loving way of greeting the family’s and those who came to pay their respects. It reminds me of a young man she called her son. They worked at the funeral home together. He now runs his own funeral home and you couldn’t find anyone better suited to the business. It truly does take a special breed of person to do this special work. I am truly sorry for your loss. A parent should never go through this but they do. Not because God’s not there or doesn’t care. He loves them more than we do. But this world is so full of evil and as long as it is, unfortunately parents will continue to feel this pain. And there is nothing anyone can say or do to make it go away. Faith is the only thing that can comfort and know they are at rest in His arms. Praying for God’s peace and comfort for you and your family ❤️
Unknown said…
Thank You for sharing your pain of loss and the comfort funeral directors offer every day. My husband and I are 5th generation funeral directors and our son is the 6th. Our son-in-law works with us. No one has better explained what we do daily. When I try to tell people our profession is a ministry they don't get it. Until they experience a loss.
A death changes everything and we get it. Every time I serve a family I ask God to give me the right words of comfort that the family needs to hear!
May God surround you with love during this difficult time.
Blessings,
marsha Linnemann
Linda Dokey said…
Beautiful Tribute! I can't agree more. Thank you seems so little in our devastating times. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
suebgranny said…
Perfectly said. Every word is true. I don't know how they do it, but am so glad that God put it in their hearts to handle that job. I still don't know how I got through the planning and the day of the wake. I don't remember much of what happened, but I do remember being gently guided through it all by the funeral home people. And the follow up they had with me was appreciated. And then they helped me plan my own. I can't even imagine your pain, I only know mine. But I appreciate you saying what so many of us have felt with our loss but couldn't verbalize. God bless you and help you through your grief.
I can truly relate to this Callianne was such a blessing to my family when my mom passes I could never say thank you enough Shackelfords is truly Blessed with this young lady working for them.
Unknown said…
MarAnn- Funeral Director for 18 years.

This is why, we Funeral Directors, do what we do. This brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for such a heartfelt letter.
cath mellor said…
Beautiful, so moving, appreciative, informative. A thank you from me too. I can't begin to imagine your pain but I know about loss. My thoughts are with you.
Jason Taylor said…
Such beautiful and sentimental words, such bravery to share to all your own words that shine with compassion and love after the loss of a young daughter's life so soon after coming into it. You are an inspiration for everyone. Keep strong love and prayers to you and your family. A quick mention for all the people that are funeral directors thank you and please continue the absolutely vital and compassionate work you do.
This was so very beautiful. I think this speaks for each and every one of us. Betz Funeral Directors were the last to see my son (9/1/1968 5/28/1986) (Suicide) This writing made me cry but I also felt a bit of peace after all this time. I still see a councilor from time to time. Thank You So Much To For Taking care of my so Michael so long ago and thank you for writing this piece <3
Unknown said…
A very beautiful tribute. I think sometimes, some of us who have such incredable grief and loss, forget the part the funeral director plays. This touched my heart.i will always be grateful to the wonderful lady who understood and helped me to prepare my daughter.
J.dion said…
J,Dion Coleman funeral director, unto him that is able let the directors come
J.dion said…
J,Dion Coleman funeral director, unto him that is able let the directors come
Unknown said…
RIP Avery, and bless you for sharing so eloquently.
Unknown said…
Been there it is a gutt wrenching hurt, hopeing it was just a bad dream but No it wasnt my daughter's name Shannon and she was 18yr car wreck the furneral director and his wife where friends of the family which made it a little easier
ML713 said…
As a mortuary science student in my last semester before graduation and taking national boards, my mother shared this with me and I cried the whole time reading it! My heart aches for you and your family however it is the exact reason I decided to follow my passion. I started school at 37 years old and its because I had to. When my best friend died in 1996, I was saddened that the last person to touch her was a bitter old worn out funeral director and it has not sat well with me since. I want to make sure that each loved one is taken care of and honored. I try to personalize every aspect of my job to that person. I follow up with families just to say hi and let them know that we are still thinking of them!
Your words are beautiful and that funeral director is walking a little taller! Love to you and prayers for easier days ahead.
This must have been extremely difficult for to write this. However, As a Paramedic, Coroner, Funeral Director, and an Embalmer, I wish you a heart felt thank you. You are so correct that people do in fact try and avoid me and others when they see us coming. I always put forth the absolute best for each and every family that I work with. I have seen the dark side of so many lost loved ones. I could count on my fingers how many times that people even think what we as Funeral professionals see and try and make sense of all of the time. We all live with the loss as well, especially children. We drive away after completing the removal and some people think (to themselves I hope), how cold hearted we must be not to even shed one tear for the loss. THINK AGAIN, we might drive away straight faced for respect for the family, however, you should see some of us on the trip to the funeral home or as we are working in the prep room. We are NOT immune from tears, or broken hearts, we are not. I have spent many nights with tears in my eyes after I leave the prep room. We have to fight to keep the straight face and retard the tears at services. No our jobs are not glamorous, but this is the professions we love to do. Yes we help the dead, but also the left behind living. If as Funeral Directors / Embalmers we would not feel for the loss it would be time to look for a different profession. The main thing that I want to pass along to the author of this, Thank You for caring!
Lisa Twitty said…
As a Mother who unfortunately knows your grief all too well, from my shattered heart I truly thank you. In your time of sorrow you managed to find the words I as a Mother have felt for twelve long years in the same manner towards the funeral director who cared for my precious Tyler when he passed away unexpectedly at 22 yrs old. The words I've struggled to find of the gratitude I hold for this man who helped me in the absolute most difficult time in my life always seem to fall short in the magnitude of appreciation for his compassion, patience, gentleness and kindness. This gentle man and his role he chose in life to play out will always be a cherished treasure and forever of great importance to me. Those who have such pure hearts to do such a role I feel are earthly angels handpicked by God himself. My heart aches for you in the loss of your most precious daughter. I hold you in my prayers, may God wrap you in his most loving arms and give you comfort in this most difficult time you are facing. I send a Mothers love to you and thank you for sharing your courage and strength in writing such a beautiful tribute.
Sharmonet57 said…
Thank you for your eloquent words, expressed with the same loving kindness as those who served you and your precious Avery. May God bless you with peace that passes all understanding. And God bless those who serve. I am personally acqauinted with several people who serve in this calling and know they are just as you have described. ❤️

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