Sea-Change

and so I write tonight not entirely of prose, poetry, my daughters, or my Mr. S,  but of me.

I listen again to Loreena McKennitt, for after Miriam introduced me to this amazing woman, I simply cannot stop playing her. She puts me in a special place of calm and tranquility.  I need that now.

Why do I write of me tonight?  Simply because I am considering a career change and I wish to share this with you, if I may.  For those who do not know my circumstance, presently I am working at Mr. S’s work place, it was only a contract and it ceases in 2 weeks.  Then unfortunately, I am out of work.

Life has thrust quite a great deal onto me, especially over the last couple of weeks and with the sad passing of my ‘proxy mother-in-law’  (I say that with love and admiration for this beautiful lady ) as Mr S are not married,  that I have decided to venture into something completely out of the ordinary,  for me at least.  For some time over the last year,  I have contemplated leaving the office environment, the politics, simply the mundane existence of working in an office, which I have done since I was sixteen years of age.  For five years I ran my own business from home, importing electronic components from trading houses overseas, this, though profitable it had no choice but to come to end when the internet came to being (and yet it doesn’t seem that long ago).

Then again time passes so quickly as we ‘mature’ our lives seem so much shorter and I do not wish to spend eight or more hours of the day, just getting through, because I feel that is all I am competent of doing.  The older we become, the more hesitant we are in change, of trying to discover anything new about ourselves or our capabilities. When we were young the ‘world was our oyster’, the doors opened for us, if we were willing to push them.  As we get older, self confidence slides and we find not trusting ourselves, our worth, as we may have done in our youth.  It may be due to the lack of certain skills, not keeping up with technology, or simply not fitting in. A few companies over here only will hire mature aged workers (40 plus) which is comforting for those (especially mums) who wish to re-enter the work force again, to keep their brains active, to earn a little ‘pocket-money’.  Jobs as in any country however are fairly scarce here and it can take anywhere from six to twelve months to find one, then it is a matter of will we be happy in it?

I have a birthday this week, I shall turn 58, it is time for a change of direction, a sea-change as we call it (though it has nothing to do with the sea).  At the end of July I am enrolling in a two day course to be a Funeral Celebrant. This is then followed with one to two months of assignments.

The reaction I have received when I tell friends and family?  A couple have giggled, but then after a moment thinking, with serious faces have said – “You would be excellent”.  I take this on board and hope but also wonder if I would be.  The more people I tell, the reactions are nothing but positive, this is what is spurring me on.

Why do I think I should do this – could do this? My reasons are simply these.
I have empathy. I am often asked for advice. I can write. I can talk in front of people.

I wish to work with families in their time of need, to help and guide them.  Some say what a depressing role to undertake (pardon that pun) but I spoke to another Celebrant who has been conducting services (and Marriages) for 7 years.  She told me that as you don’t meet the deceased and only know of their life through photos and family, that you are able to distance your self emotionally.  I hope that is the case, like any job, a professional veil must be worn.  There can be no breaking down half way through reading in a service, control must be had at all times, with a professional and caring attitude.  My age is of benefit (for a change) I do not know (at least over here), of young people conducting funeral services.  A mature, compassionate outlook is required, something that age has given me.

This could be my calling, this could be what I am destined to do, I have looked through the foggy lens of past employment, where I have not been truly happy, I am hoping that I complete the course and then begin a new life, where the pictures are clear.

My only worry is that I need to find something to keep me going financially throughout the time, as there are many Celebrants to choose from and it is a word of mouth existence, until Funeral Directors get to know of you and have you on their ‘books’.  So I begin the search for something perhaps part-time or Agency work as I step forth into this new life. My love for writing must be in my life and writing a service and poetry and helping those in grief who need sympathy and a shoulder … how gratifying and humbling would this be.  I hope I am up for the challenge.  I thank you for reading.

Below is the poem that I wrote for Mr. S’s mum ‘Rosy’ which I read at her Funeral.

The door shall not close.

We shall not close the door, or say goodbye
we simply stand and wave
the world remains a different place
now you have stepped out from our lives

a wife, mother, grandmother and great nanny
you enriched our lives with love, with laughter
with, courage, valiantly forging on, till the
battle was lost early Saturday ‘morn

we know that you had suffered
counting minutes of your pain
though you hardly ever grumbled
this was simply, not your way

amongst the loved ones, you have
left behind, of family, treasured friends
know, that they will smile once more
but their hearts need time to mend

our thoughts will be, of who you were
the life you lived and shared
your tenacity to face your fights
and faced you did – head on

we recollect your cheery smile, your
long blonde flowing hair, your eyes
the colour of the sea; there is a name
etched in our hearts – and that is Rosemary

you have taught us how to conquer
and taught us what is brave
and this, we’ll use in our own lives
with what we do, each day

so, if, we must wave to you
as you leave this earthly coil
it is not final – nor complete
we just wish you’d stayed a while

our hands, will be held in your hands
as you journey onto rest
we love and we shall miss you Rosy
in knowing you; we were truly blessed

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30 thoughts on “Sea-Change

  1. Do you know I think you are extremely well suited to this choice. You have great compassion for even cyber space friends so in the flesh I imagine you are totally awesome.

    I think you will find your niche in this work and that it will give something to your soul.

    Well done Jen..xx

  2. What an amazing poem! That truly would be a perfect fit for you for a profession. It would also be a very rewarding job and at the end of the day I think you would feel really happy with yourself. I’m so happy you’re going for it!

  3. I think this may be your life’s work, you seem to be the perfect person for this. You have summed up your strengths, approach to life very well. I say make the leap and don’t look back, do most anything to make a bit of cash during your transition until people know you and realize your gift. At 40 I decided to go back to school and change careers from advertising to teaching. I had 12 dollars and 75 cents and a year of grad school ahead of me, so it seemed the perfect time) best move ever. I loved your poem it shows your empathy and your understanding of people and your skill in expressing these things. See the Japanese film, ‘passages,’ as soon as possible, I think this will support your choice. Best) beth

    • Thank you Beth that is very gracious of you. I am glad that your move to teaching went well for you, we can only but try to take another direction, thank you for the film mention – I shall definitely seek this out. Thanks Beth 🙂 xx

  4. Firstly a happy birthday to you.
    Secondly what an excellent idea for you to venture into.
    There will always be work for you in that profession and I would say you have the empathy with people to conduct such services successfully. Good luck.

  5. You and I are both July babies! What a good month! And yes, I think you would do extremely well with this. Over the months that I have read your writing and gotten to know you, I would say that empathy is one of your defining characteristics. Don’t worry about those who find death difficult to deal with and therefore cover their fear by giggling at your choice. Our lives are what we make of them, right here, right now. Go for it!

    Happy Birthday, dear Jen! 🙂

    • A fellow Cancerian 🙂 Happy Birthday to you whenever it is 😉 Thank you for your lovely words too, you are correct in the response of those that have giggled, it is the unknown of why anyone would actually want to take this up – not a job for everyone I know, so I hope that I prove worthy and overcome and master my emotional side. Thank you darling for your support. 🙂 xx

  6. This is wonderful, Jen. I’d never thought of something like this, but it would be a very rewarding career. Best of luck with it and I think you’re amazing! 😀

    • Aww thank you Chook, that is very kind of you, the rewards of helping a family, of them knowing that I gave a respectful service is my goal. 28th/29th July is the course then the assignments, which mainly involve writing… I am SO looking forward to it. You’re pretty amazing yourself lady. xx

  7. First sending you a HUG as you have been through a lot.
    I commend you for thinking out of the box and looking at this type of work Clearly by your words written here you do have lots of compassion and I think who better to help others in their time of deepest sorrow.
    We can all write you references on the kindness in your heart if that will help you land this new work.
    HUGS

  8. Loreena McKennitt is amazing. As is the poem. 🙂

    I always think change is good and even though I don’t “in real life” know you, I do believe you’ll do well in this. What I’ve seen of you here says so. I wish you all the luck in the world 🙂

  9. Mumsy – it takes A LOT of courage to restart one’s career. I know you have been struggling with the choices of what to do next … but like others commenting here, what I see in your words above has a little more passion. I think this is a good move. You had once talked to me of writing too … sort of in this same arena … so it all makes sense nod nods.

    As for you prose to your mother-in-law …. for that is what she appears to me to you, if not in legal name, then in your heart … it was a wonderful piece.

    *side note* – The woman my brother is stepping out with … her name is Rose too …in Irish though *smiles*

    • Some may say courage – some may say foolishness, I shall go with the first – so thank you.
      I still want to to do the ‘other’ writing, but this will be a way I can hopefully combine work and what I love. Thank you for that – she was a courageous lovely woman, who had a great deal to deal with in her life. I do love how you say ‘stepping out’ my parents ‘stepped out’ – it is a grand way of writing ‘being together- going out together’. Rose is such a pretty name. You have made me smile. x

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