Monday, April 25, 2011
The last time
There is always a brighter side. Always.
I work in a business where there is a lot of sadness and regret. Yet I try every day to find that brighter side. To find pleasure in the simplest things in life. I try to enjoy everything that I do.
Here's a story that I had kept to myself for years. When I was eighteen, I was working one night at my part time job and remember my friend calling me at work wanting to talk. We were not allowed personal phone calls, so I told him I would stop by after work. When I did, his dad told me that he had gone out and he didn't know where. I left thinking that I would catch up with him in the morning. It turns out That was the last time I ever talked to him. That night is the night that he killed himself. I did not attend the funeral because I felt responsible for not answering his call for help. It was something that I struggled with for years. I now know that it was not my fault and I believe that going through this myself, has helped me with my line of work.
To this day, when I have to do a funeral for a person that has killed themselves, it is very rough on me and can bring up many old emotions. I feel badly for the loss of life as well as sympathize with those that are left to deal with the aftermath.
A while back, I did a funeral for a seventeen year old boy that had killed himself. He was a very popular football star and overall well liked in school. People think that it is "the losers" that do such things. This kid was no loser by far. The day of the funeral almost no one went to school. The church was packed with people left standing outside. We had cars lined up in the parking lot for the procession as well as the baseball field across the road. There were so many people crossing the road (a Michigan highway) that the state police closed the road. There was over 300 cars in the procession and the police went on ahead closing the roads as we traveled to the cemetery. Everyone involved will never forget it.
Knowing what everyone was feeling made it the most difficult service that I've ever done. There was one point at the cemetery that my emotions were so strong that I could hardly breath and I had to stand behind the hearse because the sight of the crying teens would bring up all of my old feelings. I still stop by his grave from time to time remembering everything.