It's a funny old thing how something that is the most natural thing in the world, the one thing that unites everyone, no matter their colour, their age, their belief, the one thing that cannot be stopped is death.
Any yet people hide from it, fear it, ignore it and become fascinated with it...
But I digress.
It has not exactly been the easiest couple of months. Being a small family funeral directors means that you form a closer attachment to the people coming and going, it is not quite as 'disconnected' as some of the bigger franchises. We try to offer a more personal service, but that cuts both ways.
In recent weeks we have been very busy, it has eaten up time from doing things I would rather be doing, that is all part of the job.
Sometimes people ask me what it is like doing what I do, sometime they ask me for advice, for things they want to know and I always try to help in the best way I can. It has given me a few good stories, some experiences that are... unique.
But this last little period has given me something new to contend with a different thought.
Maybe it is because we are a small family operation so there is no real degree of separation, whereas if you were working for a big corporate Funeral Directors the 'bad' cases would be spread out, perhaps it is because we are so small things are that more intimate.
But in answer to the question now, "What is it like?"
I would reply, "It is rewarding, there is no doubt about that, and you do it because you just do. You are doing the last thing for someone, the last thing that anyone can do. You are taking them to their final rest with as much dignity as they deserve a,d you are doing your best to care for those they left behind.
"But sometimes you get tested and that is when it becomes hard. When you are dealing with people younger than you who have passed away, when you are dealing with people just a little older who have decided that life is not worth living and ended it, when you are dealing with people who just cannot control themselves and self destruct on drugs and booze, when you have to deal with children and babies who just... turned off, when you are dealing with people you vaguely knew who someone else decided they should not be here, that is when it becomes a little harder, the detachment is a little harder to maintain.
"When dealing with the loved ones and seeing the pain it's hard enough.
"But imagine if all of the above come all at the same time, one after another, that is when this job becomes harder, that is when you realise just what you have to be able to cope with."
That is what the last few weeks have been like and I will not lie it has been heavy on my shoulders. Very heavy, not just because of all the business side of things, but seeing how it effects my parents as it builds up.
The trick is to keep going, blinkered like a racehorse and just hope you reach the finish line and that the next race is a little easier.
And take a little holiday in between.