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