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Grief Stricken or Crazy?

I have a tendency to be socially retarded.  At least that's what the personality tests say about me.  I've got like a negative IQ in the social category.  Conversely, I score highly in the "introverted" area.

Personally, though, I think personality tests have a very limited definition of "social".  I think they need to broaden their definition.

For those of you who see us introverts as "mysterious" and "dark" -- let me shed some light on us: being "introverted" doesn't necessarily mean we're antisocial.  I know, I know ... that may come as a shock to some of you extroverts who have dominated and determined the whole definition of the word "social" to mean simplistically "interacting with OTHER people."  In fact, as an introvert, I'm a very social person (something you extroverted personality test makers have overlooked) ... I just naturally like to socialize with myself.  So where's you're category for that Mr.-Think-You-Know-Me Personality Test maker guy?

There are some requirements for being a good funeral director.  You have to have a high tolerance for crap -- both literally and figuratively.  You have to be highly accepting and understanding.  There's an age requirement and in some cases, a height requirement.  A midget or dwarf couldn't perform all the functions required for the job.

And there's a social requirement, one that I'm learning to fulfill ... in fact, I feel I've come a long way in a short amount of time.  I'd like to think I'm one of the best introverted extroverts there is.  I'm just not a natural.  For me, it's not talent ... it's (mostly) all learned.

And there's one thing I still get stumped on.  How do you tell a grief stricken person from a crazy person?

There's so many similarities between the two that a socially inept person such as myself can easily get confused.

Funerals pull everybody out of their hiding places.  There will be guys walking in here that look like they're still rocking in the 70s ... driving up in their 1976 Buick LaSabres with a polyester suit and mustache, trying to look like Tom Selleck or a Hockey announcer from Verses.   Yup, we get em all.  Even the crazies come out for death.

And for the life of me, I don't know if a person is out of their mind or overwhelmed with loss.  And you can imagine what happens when you get involved with a person you assume to be grief stricken who is actually crazy ... they have you doing all sorts of odd things ... not immoral things (I'm not morally inept ... just "socially" inept).

So, I'm counting on some of you with da social skillz ... give a brother some pointers.  I'm looking for some light.


Caleb Wilde

I'm a sixth generation funeral director. I have a grad degree in Missional Theology. And I like to read and write. Connect with my writing and book plans by "liking" me on facebook. And keep tabs with my blog via subscription or twitter.

  • Colin Firth

    Caleb. Despite your self-deprecating, introspective comments, I am willing to bet that you are on the right track. Clearly you still have your sense of humor and the power of observation in your corner which help you maintain a healthy perspective in your life. These are two traits that probably serve you very well as a funeral professional. Keep up the good work!
    Cheers – Colin Firth
    Founder mysendoff.com