Sandy Poelvoorde, Boyd’s Funeral Services
How do you do it?
It’s something I get asked all the time when people find out I’m a funeral director. Understandable, since it’s a question I’ve asked myself almost daily since opening my own office in conjunction with raising a family of four.
Funeral service guarantees no regular hours. We work, and then fill in any free gaps by taking time to sleep, eat and look after our children.
I joke with my male counterparts that life would be much easier if I had a wife. I even show my spouse episodes of Sister Wives, hoping he’ll take the hint. But I did not marry a stupid man, and he is somewhat disinclined to procure a second “situation.” So, I do what I can.
Like with every professional in the service sector, one of the hardest things to do is leave work at work. I have found it to be so difficult in fact, that I stopped doing it. I did so because death is permanent and inevitable. If I chose to see those words as negatives I was going to burn out in a big, nasty way. Because I couldn’t change the words, I chose to see the positive in their meaning.
Seeing a wife who lost her husband of 75 years still smile through her tears and have a twinkle, even through cloudy eyes, over the love she and her husband shared is a permanent memory that overshadows all the hardships, all the discontentment. It made me want to work harder for that grace and strength of character.
I’ve seen parents lose their children to death both by natural causes and by terrible circumstance, yet somehow they manage to find strength. The strength to not only wake up and face each day, but often to commemorate their child’s life in ways that lead to greater medical advances for other children, greater support networks for parents and even global movements that make life a little bit better for others.
These moments reinforce my faith that, inevitably, time takes grief and reshapes pain into strengths that allow us to turn hopelessness into unlimited opportunity.
The beautiful memories I have shared with others is a permanent testament that joy will overcome sorrow and, inevitably, that laughter outlasts the tears.
Sandy Poelvoorde is the owner of Boyd’s Funeral Services Ltd. (“Quality care you can trust”) She can be reached at 250.287.2240 or online at www.campbellriverfunerals.com.