Life is mysteriously beautiful and unpredictable. When will we die? How will it happen, how will it feel, and what will the world do when we are gone? We can’t know the answers to these questions. However, we do have the ability to facilitate how we will be remembered and how we remember those who have died. My work has awarded me perspective on life and death. Each day I appreciate my family, my love, and all of the things in my life that are precious to me.
When I was seven years old, I used to dig graves with a fork from the kitchen to bury animals and insects. I had to take care of them. Today, people often ask me, “How do you do it?!” In truth, little has changed; I do the same thing. The graves may be deeper, and the coffins are no longer made out of old crayon cartons, but still I perform the same simple act of caring for those in need.
I foresee making an important contribution to the future of death and dying. My intention is to raise awareness of the importance of planning ahead and making one’s wishes known while educating the general population on the impact of an appropriate life celebration. By placing emphasis on authenticity of ceremony and increasing education, more families might participate in a holistic end of life experience which I feel better facilitates the healing process. All people are worthy of guidance during death and transcendence. This kind of care is best provided by someone who possesses the skill to listen to and learn about a family’s needs while incorporating a life story with creative vision. With each experience, I hope to improve the quality of life for the living as the result of bringing excellence to properly commemorating the transitioned.
Imagine being invited to participate in a wedding or to attend the birth of a child. These are obviously two very intimate and joyous occasions in any life. Now, imagine being thrust into the equally important and intimate ritual-based experience that is the transcendence of a loved one – without a formal invitation or nine-months to prepare. We schedule and plan our lives with great detail, yet so many avoid embracing the necessary element of life that is death. Though daunting to some, my gift is the art of listening to the hearts of a family and adapting what those hearts speak into a moment in time that will be forever cherished by everyone. We should be allowed to speak our own truth and have our wishes honored in a unique way.
When I reach the end of my earthly journey, I trust there will be someone to take care of me and my family. I hope somehow the day will pause, the trees will sigh, and I will be remembered. Until that day, I will honor each opportunity to do just this for those with whom I cross paths. I will remember them…it is my calling, my purpose, my life’s work.