The oddities of the funeral industry can make it downright grueling at times. When you are out to dinner with your spouse and kids and just as the server puts your dinner plate down, your cell phone rings for a death call. As you leave the table, your kids ask why you are always working. It’s the arrangement when a widow’s tears are flowing so fast down her face, she can’t see the page you are presenting her with the different services options you provide.
But, then there is the reward. It’s the shaky cursive (that you know took three times longer than the average person to write) on the hand-written thank you card that a family member wrote to one of your staff directors. It’s the home-made pie the elderly woman made you because you graciously helped her with the arrangements of her husband last week. It’s the look in the eyes as the widow grasps your arm as you escort her to the gravesite and she says, “I could have not done this without you.”
The funeral industry is truly one of a kind. It is made up of some of the most dedicated, hard-working and compassionate people that I know. But I also know that serving in the funeral industry is a constant roller-coaster of highs and lows and not much in the middle.
I personally consider myself privileged to serve this industry, and I have made a ton of friends along the way. Those who serve this industry are unique - they are special. It is only once or twice a year, I get to see all my friends, from all across different states gather and converge in to one spot. Today officially starts NFDA’s annual International Convention and Expo – and I couldn’t be more excited!
As we pack our bags, check in to our flights, and depart on our road trips, I encourage each one of you to simply have a ball. Years from now when we look back at our memories that are the best memories we have from working in this industry, let’s all collectively say, “Man, remember how much fun that 2017 NFDA Convention was in Boston!”.
Engage in the seminars with an open heart and open mind. Walk up and introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met or some company who you have never heard of while walking the expo floor. Have a drink or two with someone from a different state at the Welcome Party.
Go find the people who do things differently, and even if you take one simple thing home with you and implement it in your funeral home – you have made a difference and your time and money has been worthwhile.
That is all for my ode to the funeral profession, and my thoughts on why you should make the most out of NFDA.
And if this was not motivating enough, read this blog post over while listening to Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam”. And if that does not work, simply cancel your plans to come to NFDA.
If you are already pumped up, then steam yourself some Dropkick Murphy’s “I’m Shippng Up to Boston” and maybe after that you could go onto Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.
Peace, love, and see you up North!
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