The Mind of a Mortician

My name is Weston Webb. I am 21 years old and for the last six years I’ve been employed by various funeral homes across the state of Oklahoma. I have buried well over 1000 people in the last six years and the question that I get asked most frequently is “How does your job not depress you?” The answer to this question is very simple. I remain upbeat not because I am calloused to my work, but because I look at the faces of the dead and see an expression there that is very rarely seen on the face of the living. These people I work with look as if they have shed the chains of this life and have finally found the peace that eludes mankind throughout the entirety of our lives. Such freedom can only be achieved by the dead because the living will not allow someone to be that happy. You say my job is depressing, and you are probably right. My only argument is: is it not depressing to sit in a monotonous job day in and day out without ever really knowing whether you are making a difference in someone’s life or not? No, it’s true the dead cannot speak but if they could I can assure you that each and every one of them is happier than each and every one of us. I cannot possibly think of a happier environment to immerse myself in. Rather than be afraid of the dead and death itself, I envy their freedom and look forward to hopefully experiencing such peace at the end of my time.

The only aspect of my job that is difficult is an ordered to truly do my job well I have to put myself in a position to grieve with the family over their loss. That is the only common ground that we hold. I have the opportunity to guide people through what could be the hardest time in their life and hopefully give them the strength and courage to continue moving forward with their lives. There is only one thing about my career that always seems to remain consistent. When my time with the family is done more often than not they look at me and say “I truly hope that I never see you again” and most of the time they don’t. It took me a very long time not to take this comment personally but somewhere along the way I began to realize that death is simply not kind to the living. There is nothing romantic about death it’s like the ocean in a sense. It’s deep, and dark, and vast, and grief is like a thief in the night. Life is fleeting, and should not be taken for granted. It seems like a noble and heroic deed to fight and die for the ones that you love, especially if these people hold your heart. What people fail to think about is; after you are gone due to your noble cause the ones you love will remain here alone and grieving over you. People spend their entire lives trying to dissuade the notion that our time here is short and that life is fragile, but in all reality the only thing that we are promised in our lives is that it will inevitably end.

They say that we leave this world the same way that we came into it – naked and alone. If that be true then why not try to live your life well. Why not aspire to leave an impact so large on the world that the very idea of your absence will rock the very foundation of those who knew you. After all what we do in life echoes in eternity. I truly hope that this post does not dampen your mood any. That was truly not my intention at all. Through my eyes my job is one of the happiest professions in the world regardless of how taxing it is. Yes, it is true that over the course of the last six years I have been in the company of the deceased far more than the living, but I have the pleasure of going home each and every night and knowing that I made a difference in someone’s life rather than hoping. I hope this gives you a different perspective of funeral directors and funeral service workers. Throughout the six years I’ve been in the funeral business I have never met the stereotypically “creepy” funeral director. Quite the contrary actually. The people in the funeral industry are the kindest most caring and loving people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I hope that you all have a good evening, and remain in high spirits. Life is truly beautiful, and every now and again we just have to remind ourselves that there are still people who care about complete strangers, even though the social norm dictates that to be a dangerous endeavor in today’s society. Don’t forget to be kind to the people in your life even if they are complete strangers. You never know where people came from or what story they have to tell. You never know the pain that they have experienced throughout their life, nor the happiness. I feel that you would be surprised to find that there are far more caring people in the world then you will ever know. This is not because you don’t long to have them in your life, but more-so because society has made you phobic of any human being who doesn’t sit at your dinner table on Sunday night with your family.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what country you came from, what color your skin is, or what language you speak. At the end of your life you will be put in a box and then into a hole in the ground just like everyone else. We are neither American, Asian, European, Australian, or African. We are humans and we all live in the same place. Just because there is water that separates us does not mean that the ground ends where the water begins. Remember that above all else. Our leaders commit themselves day and night to making sure that this fact be overlooked because peace is not a profitable state of being. I challenge you to be kind to a stranger this week. Who knows, it might even change their life, or even better, they might change yours. Either way the world will be a better place because of the action itself. Thank you all so much for reading what I have to say. I can’t possibly begin to explain how much it means to me, and I hope that you have found some good in my writing. I hope that I’ve made a difference in your life because that’s all that really matters.

-Weston

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