Raindrops&running tracks

Few know what I have emerged from.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to bleed it out here either. This blog is the adventures of a funeral director not the ‘Readings of a battered housewife.’

Let’s just say, this time last year I was in a very different place. As all of us were – every year we are twelve months deeper within our life journey!

This afternoon as I jogged along my sunset running track, it occurred to me just how far I really have come. A storm had torn through minutes earlier and once the thunder faded and pouring rain settled to a light shower, I hit the pavement. A year since walking out on a violent relationship, not only am I free of both mental and physical abuse, I can chuckle at the cellulite pouncing from my thighs with each running step on the concrete. I gazed down at my legs – they are a little thicker than usual, there are certainly more dimples than I would like and my tan not so dark, but I didn’t mind. It would only take a month of jogging, a spray tan and less Nutella jar marathons at night and I would be fine.

These thoughts alone were an achievement.

Rain drops patted a tune on the trees along the track as I ran a little faster along the lake.

A little over a year ago I lived in a grand two storey home complete with a sparkling swimming pool and gleaming modern  kitchen. Today I live in a tiny cottage with a small picket fence and ants that scurry along the window sill. And I don’t mind. I am so happy with my new down sized life. I am so grateful. To this day I don’t know how I’ve done it.

That rainy night I left with only my heels in a suitcase, my lap top and a pillow. Thanks to social media, I did not need to cart around all of my photo albums; many snapshots were saved on my social media accounts or my slim portable computer.

He could have it all. I chose happiness.

And here I am.

Jogging along my newfound running track along a lake hidden away behind trees I don’t know the name of. The Autumn air sending goosebumps over my skin and the brown leaves crunching underfoot.

I have my dream job, a comfy bed to fall asleep in, red wine and food in my pantry, a new, sleek computer to spend hours writing on and the ability to laugh at myself and best of all, love myself.

I do want to say something. I may not be qualified to give life advice but…

You can change your life!

Even if this idea seems impossible to you right now. I was there. I’ve felt it. I have sat in the dark on the side of the road in my beautiful Louboutins crying after my partner left me in the rain after a night at dinner. I must have said something he didn’t like and in the gutter I was, carrying my heels so they would’t get covered in mud. As superficial as this sounds, it obviously goes much deeper than this. I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible for you.

You can do it. You can! And here’s another secret… LAW OF ATTRACTION IS TRUE!!!!

I recently took two weeks off work due to the death of my Poppy. I took leave without pay. The whole time I was with my family, in the back of my mind the bills lying on my kitchen bench cursed at me screaming: ‘What about Us??? We can’t pay ourselves!!!’ Weeks behind and aware of it, I managed to block the nagging thoughts from my mind and focused on holding my nan’s hand in her time of need and supporting my family. Everything at home could wait. The bills, the never-ending phone calls of companies demanding payments. None of it mattered because deep down I knew everything would be okay. When I returned home, I meditated every single night to fall asleep. And as I did, I visualised my bills being paid.

This morning as I stood in line waiting for my coffee, I randomly checked my bank balance on my phone. I had over a thousand extra dollars in my account. Confused, I received my latte and took a seat to investigate. I felt myself frowning through my make up as I scrolled through my bank statement online. Turns out, I had a week’s pay owing from an old job and they had deposited these funds into my account overnight. I had almost forgotten I had even worked at the cosmetic store let alone expected any money from them! I had prayed, I visualised and within weeks, my bills were paid.

I know I sound like a New Age guru rattling on, but all I know, each and every day I am faced with death in my job. Life is too bloody short to sit around and be miserable. Your life could end next month. Next week. Tomorrow. Why not believe in what I’m saying…just incase?

You don’t want to die with your last thoughts being, ‘What If?’ do you?

Just try it. IMG_7588




Wood Shavings and Coffin Handles

There is an area downstairs of the funeral home that looks like my daddy’s work shed when I was a little girl. Tools are scattered everywhere and wood shavings cover the floor. I wander here sometimes when the day is tough or to even participate in the wood work myself. The area is what we call ‘The Trim Room.’

No, not the hair cut kind of trim.

At a funeral arrangement with a family, the funeral director presents a folder with many different coffin choices. Some have silver handles with a crucifix, others are more basic with just a name plate. The possibilities are endless really, and we create it for you, by hand. The coffins arrive to the funeral home from the manufacturer as a shell. It is our job to secure the handles, crucifixes and name plates, and this all happens in the Trim Room. Shelves from floor to ceiling are stocked with metal and plastic crosses, crucifixes and other decorative pieces.

Radio blaring and whistling while we work, we hammer, drill and measure all add ons perfectly for you with love, care and precision.

Some days can be challenging. Burying people for a job can be emotionally draining and you can find yourself teary without reason or warning. In these unsuspected moments, I find myself venturing down to the trim room and sit, inhaling the woody scent that takes me back to the farm where I grew up.  I remember watching him build things there, hammering away, carving and measuring, wood shavings drifting to the dirt ground as he turned wood into tools he used on the property.

Now it was me, hammering nails into wood.

I take a coffin handle in my hand and drill the piece securely onto the side of the coffin, my shiny nails are shiny against the pine.

The coffins are so beautiful. And when I watch the pall bearers carry them down the aisle of a church or chapel, my heart swells. They have no idea the little blonde girl in her suit and tie is the reason they have handles to hold onto as they carry their loved one away onto their next journey.



The Dash

A verse written by
Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning ..to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time that they spent alive on earth,
and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own the cars…the house…the cash,
what matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard. Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash might only last a while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?