Last night as I prepared to retire, I opened my electronic device to social media to check on last weeks events in the lives of my friends and family. A friend of mine, whose daughter had, many years ago, attended my daycare facility, posted a sweet comment referencing an article I had written. Her daughter is now a married woman. It amazes me how quickly children grow into adults and how quickly I grew into a senior.
Earlier, I had decided to attend a seminar about self-reliance. Thankfully, self-reliance is not one of my struggles, however, I am often asked to help others obtain this worthwhile quest, and therefore find it advantageous to continually seek new information toward its fulfillment. I asked my husband to accompany me and as we prepared to leave our home, we briefly discussed a beautiful Christmas present he had given me this past season that carried significant personal meaning.
Prior to Christmas, while my husband and I were shopping I spotted the present he gave me. My attention, however, was focused on an item sitting beside it that was perfect for my sister-in-law. My husband told me that when he went back to purchase my gift, the sales lady expressed relief and happiness. She said that when the item was set out for display, she had hoped he would see it and buy it, as she knew that it and I were perfectly suited. She was right, and her observation indicates an intimate knowledge of me personally and compliments me in a unique and endearing manner.
While listening at the seminar, the facilitator’s message encouraged my thoughts toward one’s purpose in life. It became clear to me that one’s direction or work should be correlated with one’s purpose, or as my friend had stated, “one’s calling in life.” How wonderful it must be to work in what you are driven to accomplish. One often hears, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I have always felt that 98% of what I do in a day is out of responsibility, while the remaining 2% leaves me wondering if it will ever pay off.
I responded to my friend’s post that funeral service is as rewarding and fulfilling as daycare ever was. Her compliment, however, was aimed at writing. I continued that although I truly love funeral service, writing does not come to me easily. I lament over it every week.
Monday is my writing day, which for the last five years has translated into 260 sleepless Sunday nights. I toss and turn, and try to figure out what I will write in just a few hours. As I stress over it, I convince myself that tomorrow’s article will be my last. On the morrow, the task of writing and rewriting, and praying that by close of day my article will be completed, begins. At the end of this ordeal, I will be convinced that next week’s article will be my last. The cycle never yields.
Although last night, Sunday, and this morning, Monday, have followed the same scenario, something is somehow different. The struggle remains; however, I finally comprehend my motivation. My friend’s compliment, the sales lady’s observations, and the information from the seminar came together and clarified my determination to continue in an activity with which I struggle. I do not write because it is easy or enjoyable for me, I write because it moves my life’s work forward.
I have realized that 98% of my life has been directional. I have precise goals that translate into responsibilities for which I am compelled to accomplish. The 2% of wonder was realizing that it was all related. That my purpose, or calling in life, is service and my soul rejoices through it.
I am asked daily for grief’s cure. My recommendations are always the same. My clients who report the quickest and most efficient recovery follow these orders implicitly.
a. Open and practice a continual line of communication with God.
b. Become aware of, and give thanks for all that is good and wonderful in your life.
c. Supplicate on behalf of others for the blessings of which they stand in need.
d. Ask for the help that you need and the strength to help others.
2. Scripture Study
a. Explore, cross-reference, investigate, and ponder the Holy words.
b. Incorporate them and practice their principles in your life.
3. Service to others
a. Forget about your troubles and help the poor in spirit, the needy, the hungry, the downtrodden, the less fortunate, and anyone else who needs it without asking for recognition.
4. Find your life’s work (a.k.a. purpose) and put it into practice
Now that I am a Funeral Director rather than a daycare provider, very little about my work has changed. My clients, however, like me, are a little bit older than before. I understand now why I have always loved working and why in invest 98% of my time into it. When your work is your purpose, you love what you do. When you love what you do, you are never at work. Service is an amazing profession.
Although it remains difficult, the written word allows me to serve the bereaved who are beyond my immediate reach. To quote a distant cousin, “When you work with words, words are your work.” (Don Knotts, The Ghost, and Mr. Chicken)
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director of Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City, Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and Certified Grief Counselor. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and grief briefs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery.
It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.