Are you sick of the constant bombardment of 'get it now, buy today, you are missing out’ media that is being thrust at us every second at the moment?
Black Friday has turned into Black Month and it seems to all be about how if we don’t get it now, we will miss out and be worth less for not being part of something.
I am not sure that it is doing any of us any good. We are at risk of missing the important things, things like what makes each of us unique, special and far better than £1.50 off something we don’t need!
Do we value ourselves and each other enough for the simple and unsung talents and traits we have? I don't think we do. Maybe we should make more of the special skills we may have or the things we have done that go unspoken.
I think that many people are probably more special than they think they are and perhaps we should take the time to celebrate little victories and simple pleasures while we can.
ME! ME! ME! Yes, you are important!
Why am I thinking about this? At the beginning of the year, a good friend of mine, WIll Hadcroft, took a career change and trained to be a Funeral Celebrant. Not a job we all rush out to do, is it? But if you think about it, we should be grateful that people like him want to do it and do it well.
Although Will had not ever planned to go into this line of work, he found himself taking a couple of family funerals almost because there was no one else available, he found that he was able to conduct a simple and meaningful service and received positive feedback. His experience in public speaking helped him deliver the ceremonies with ease, his experience as an author helped him create an articulate, personal and heartfelt eulogy.
As with any career change, there is more to it than just wanting to get on with the job, so he went through some formal training to understand the ins and outs of it and then set about visiting local funeral directors to offer his services. As with any new venture, it takes time to get it up and running, but eventually he began to get some funerals booked and has since had previous clients ask for him by name when suffering the loss of another family member. Praise indeed for his services.
"Once again many many thanks for today. The service was beautiful and very much my dad. We have had so many compliments about what a lovely service and how well delivered it was by yourself.
Many of the older ones said it was the best of the services they had been to recently."
Gaynor, September 2109.
So, what does that have to do with wondering if we are all worth more than how we feel we might be? It is easy to see that he will get some clients with full and varied lives, everyone in the family will know of their exploits. Some have even prepared their own funeral in advance. But for others, the bereaved family often begin with, 'we are not sure there is much to say about them, they led a quiet uneventful life.'
Of course, the role of the celebrant is to interview the family and find out the details of their life to be able to create a picture of them, a summing up of their life. One thing Will has discovered is that even the quietest of people that may not have had any major roles, still have something special about them. Maybe they a simple thing of helping someone in an accident or believing that while they were fit enough, money could be spent on better things than busses and so walked everywhere. Perhaps they took up painting and had pictures displayed in a local exhibition, but never shouted about it.
It seems to me, that we need to look out for the hidden treasures in the people around us. Whether it is an act of kindness or the fact they make amazing cakes. Maybe they grow all their own veg or perhaps they have helped out in the community without ever shouting about it. Let's not wait until that person is gone and we reflect on their life before think about or discover all the things they were good at. However small, look for those details that make someone who they are.
A Funeral Celebrant is not the job for everyone, it takes certain skills and a good understanding of people. I know Will finds it rewarding and extremely humbling that people entrust the character and personality of their loved one to him and he works hard to capture the essence of them. Whether it is helping the family find the right piece of music or poems, or capturing them in his talk, he knows it is a privilege to be part of the journey for the family.
The feedback he has received has been touching and shows he finds those hidden details in lives that some consider so ordinary. Family members have commented that he 'completely captured their nature,' or how he 'summed up Dad perfectly, he would have loved what you had to say.' Others have commented how having someone creating the service in the way he did made the whole process so much easier for them. the ceremony becoming a celebration of life, rather than a deeply depressing event. The sorrow will still be there, but the personality of the loved one shines through.
So, what have you done today that is amazing, special, kind, or have you allowed yourself to enjoy a simple pleasure? Celebrate and allow yourself to see the magic that is you. If you know someone that has gone the extra mile, the unsung hero, the person that made you a lovely meal or simply gave you a smile, let them know how important and special they are. Let's not wait for someone to interview us before a funeral to discover how valuable we all are in our own small ways.
Although it is not a situation I would wish anyone to be on, if you need a caring and professional Funeral Celebrant and you are lucky enough to live in the Bolton area, check out Will's website here.