Monday, August 5, 1974. It was a sunny day.
It was the day that launched me on a trajectory that I am still on today.
The story, blogged way back in 2010 on my old “A Simple Village Undertaker” blog is called
August 5, 1974 was the day my maternal grandfather died.
The events of that day and subsequent days that week, provided me with the spark that eventually became a firestorm.
I have participated in and enjoyed many activities during my life. Most of them, I was “average” at. Being a student, playing tennis, running, guitar, Fire/EMS and writing were all things I enjoyed doing. I never had the discipline or patience however to really excel. I’ll add being a good husband and father weren’t always strengths, but at least I’m doing much better as a Grandpa.
But funeral service has been my passion. I have the emotional personality for it and think I’m pretty good at the core discipline. I’ve worked for big and small firms and privately owned and publicly traded corporations. I’ve bought, sold and traded funeral homes and cemeteries and now manage a business for a colleague that I once competed against.
I never fail to remember the words of my mentor and friend, Todd Van Beck when he says that the job of the undertaker was to simply help people solve the problems brought about by the death of a loved one. I’m still a tireless problem solver.
At this point in my life, I try to help young people who want to get into this business. It’s not always easy to get a start and there are so many easier ways to earn more money and have a better work-life balance, but I would do it again.
When I think about the stories that tell “my” story, I think of these:
It’s the one thing I’ve loved doing, even when I didn’t.