So, I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few days. Thinking about a life change, a change of career (which, considering I'm a stay at home mom who writes fiction and is trying to get it published, I suppose it would be more appropriate to say, I'm pondering an actual career).
I'm thinking about training to become a celebrant. Specifically, a funeral celebrant.
It would take me a standard academic year to take classes and become certified. There are many options open depending on how exactly I want to approach it. But, the 1 year online program I found seems to be what would work best for us (so far).
Your first thought may be "Um, that was sudden." Really, though, it isn't.
First off, I've always been the mother hen, the counselor to friends and strangers alike. Always. I remember getting called this in elementary school. Being protective and wanting to heal my friends spiritual wounds...that's always been me.
As far as the funeral part goes... in 2004 when my grandfather passed away, I was amazed by the process we went through with a funeral celebrant. The woman sat and talked to us about grandpa and made it all about HIM, about our memories, about how wonderful his life was. The funeral wasn't about death, but about LIFE. And to me, that was amazing. I had a thought that I might like to bring that kind of peace to other people. But, at that time I was also in "Going to be a Blue Man When I Grow Up" mode and moving to Arizona. So, those thoughts got lost in the shuffle.
Then, in 2007, I went to my grandmother's funeral. Even though our family is not Jewish, we had a friend of my grandmother's (a rabbi) deliver the service. That experience had very little to do with my grandmother and everything to do with a sermon, about death. I delivered a eulogy that day that WAS about her. People who hadn't shed a tear in days broke down, people who hadn't been able to stop crying laughed. I felt like I did her proud but also helped my family through that time and it didn't matter that my voice broke. Again, I had the thought that maybe I could be a celebrant. But, the thought flew away.
Then, almost 2 weeks ago when Mr. Hurt died, I wrote the blog about him. I later found out that my blog was read by Mr. Hurt's life partner at the funeral as a part of the larger eulogy. I got some comments here on the blog itself and several more on Facebook thanking me for my words.
I admit that there is a bit of me that is bouncing and saying "You like me and what I can write" but it's more than that. Something I said gave someone peace. Something I said made someone smile on one of the single darkest days of his life.
That VOICE IN MY HEAD, you know the one, kept nudging me that maybe now is the time to really consider this again. I have been getting little hints from around me, from people who don't know what is going on in my head, that just keep pointing me toward it.
You might look at this and go "Ew! Funerals?! Why can't you do weddings or something?"
Well...I know about 10 people who are wedding officiants. No joke. Also, as awesome as weddings are, as special a time as it is... it's not the same. Yes, it's a stressful day, and I'd be easing some of that stress... yes, I would be able to do something good for someone on a very special day. But, knowing professionals in that business, I wouldn't want to go there. Besides, it seems my gift is finding light in darkness, a smile in the pain, and saying the words that others just can't. I gotta play to my strengths.
Maybe this will turn out to be a new chapter in my life, maybe I'll find that it's not for me. But right now, this is what's on my mind. This is what I've been pondering and turning over and over in my head. This is why I've been asking opinions, guidance and wisdom.
...what do you think?
Am I crazy? (well, crazier than usual?)