Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Too many in a week
I wouldn't want my reader to think that, having been a runner-up at the Good Funeral Guides awards last month (have I already mentioned that? Oh.) this blog was out to grass. In fact, my celebrancy work has had one of those periodic surges, and the blog has, with regret, been left in neutral for a week or three..
I know, I know, I'm "out to grass" - metaphor from keeping horses - and now I'm "in neutral." The few times I've been horse-riding, I wish the damned thing had got a neutral mode. It's a long way to the ground, I seem to remember.
But sloppy writing is what I fear when I'm overloaded. Here's the point: I think it's unwise (that's tactful for inappropriate) for celebrants to take on too many funerals. It's bad for them, I'd have thought, and they run the risk of not having the energy, empathy reserves and general calm concentration levels to do the job really well. One a week suits me, two a week is busy busy.
Of course this may be just the ageing me, others may be able to do a splendid job at twice this intensity. But generally, I resist accepting temporary overloads. It's not easy saying no, there's not too many secular celebrants around here, but I'm going to be helped in this because another celeb is now working alongside me. Blessings upon her head!
However, sometimes a spot of overwork is unavoidable, unless one harden the heart. An undertaker I greatly respect rings me whilst I'm in the car (passenger) returning to Mundi Mansions after a brief visit to family. I accept - happy to help. Almost at once, the damned mobile clatters at me again. A friend's father has just died. Will I...well, of course. Then, same evening, I'm just loitering with intent by a glass of Merlot, and - phone goes. Another much-respected undertaker, with a bit of an emergency - one of those sad circumstances where a very elderly person has no surviving family, it's all via the solicitor executor, and it's soon, can I talk to a few neighbours, prepare a suitable ceremony...well, of course.
Four funerals in seven days. Hands a blur, throat roughens, head aches, the Long Suffering One suffers.
Am I grumbling? No. It's a privilege. It's just bloody hard work. I shouldn't work at this pitch too often. A.D. etc. Where did I put my feckin' glasses...not the Merlot, the other sort...see, even the jokes get worse when you overwork....