Funeral Industry: Feet Firmly Fixed on a Foundation of Faith
There are times in the life of a funeral director when assaults come from all sides. The core of our belief structures can be shaken and the growth process can be challenged. All that we hold sacred ca n seem dashed unless we visualize ourselves as a sail at rest, awaiting the gust of wind that comes along to fill us and move us onward. Different belief systems abound in the world we serve, and we must be able to let them pass through our lives gently.
As funeral professionals, we are unique in many ways. At the time of death, life is examined and we watch from the periphery as the broken ones we serve struggle and succeed ? or stumble and fall. We see them as they confuse what they seem to be ?at the moment? with who they really are. Death is the great common denominator and it is not unusual for us to be sideline players in the drama that ensues. Their fear of the future is understandable as they see themselves divorced from both the past and future.
A funeral directors faith is born of the input from everyday experiences. To deny that is impractical. Even the most devout among us must be able to acknowledge that ? if we are to be of help to the diverse faith groups that come to us ? we must live the questions rather than quote the answers. Consciousness has brought our spirit to this point and we must trust that it will guide us safely through the remainder of our days.
We must reassure ourselves that we will cling to whatever foundation we have forged for ourselves and have no fear of the future ? that we will not feel threatened by faith structures we find unfamiliar; rather that we will allow them to be real to those who adhere to them. If we have faith in life and wisdom we become effective not only to those we serve, but to ourselves and those we work with. Every question we have may have an answer that strengthens others who remain open to the possibility.
If we accept that we are ?called with courage? to serve those who come to us, we dispel our limits and inhibitions. From that moment on we become able to live each day in faith, elevating our consciousness and lifting ourselves into our own futures. Heraclites said that we can never cross the same stream twice; that the water we waded through an hour ago has long moved on. So it is with our faith if we have a firm foundation. The difference being this: The water may move quickly, but the stream bed erodes slowly. The basic elements of a funeral directors faith can be a beacon to others. I only caution you to live your faith and let your life be your statement. I am reminded of a story my grandmother told me about the bumblebee.
She observed that a bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.
In many ways, we are like the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up!