Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.
Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.

Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services. Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.

Ask Your Funeral Director: Do you like your job?

“I could not imagine not being a funeral director and serving my community in this way.”

By Jason Meidl, Funeral Director at Creston Valley Funeral Services

jason@crestonvalleyfuneralservices.ca

Pickling and canning, who knew there was so much to it. This year, I was amazed as my wife kept on finding more and more items to pickle or can. There is nothing like coming home to the canner on the stove and a twinkle in my wife’s eye as she shows off the abundance of carrots, tomatoes, and pickling cucumbers spilling over the counters. I have said this before but I am always so amazed by the valley that we live in, that just down the road we can find fresh produce in abundance. Nothing beats homemade pickles and salsa!

“Do you like your job?” – Bill

I feel like this is a question that many of us could stand to answer, as we all work in some capacity. It is a question that we should be asking ourselves on a regular basis as our work takes up the majority of most our lives. I get asked this question quite often. I do like my job and feel that is a calling more than a job. I love that I have the opportunity to help people in what is, for many, the worst times of their lives. I like that my days are always different, I don’t have a “set schedule” per-say. I will admit there are days that are hard, there is no way it can’t be when dealing with highly charged emotional situations. Even with these “difficult” parts of my job, I could not imagine not being a funeral director and serving my community in this way. One thing that I have always told people who have shown an interest in the funeral profession is that if I ever get to the point where I am no longer enjoying or being able to emphasize with my families, then I need to step back and reassess.

“What can I bring to a funeral?” – Susan

The term funeral comes from the Latin root word “funus”, which means dead body. From this, the funeral became the ritual that surrounds taking care of the dead body. Over the years, we have started to use different terminology to describe the funeral. “Traditional service” for a funeral with burial to take place, “memorial service” for what we think of as a funeral with cremation, and in recent years, a “celebration of life”, which I have heard defined as a time that people come together more to celebrate the unique personality and achievements of the deceased than to merely witness or mark the change in their social status.

Now back to the original question, what can you bring to a funeral. I always encourage my families to bring items that speak to who that person was that can be displayed. Sometimes these are placed on what we might call a memorabilia table for display as people walk into the service, other times they are set up throughout where we are having the service. What these items are can vary depending on the person. I have everything from someone’s prized custom truck parked right up front of the building where the service is being held, to a multi-table display showcasing all the important items in that person’s life, which told a story in itself. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question.

Interesting Fact

I recently attended a meeting where we discussed the new form of disposition called natural organic reduction or human composting. Essentially human composting is an accelerated form of decomposition by which a corpse is placed in a vessel with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. Oxygen is pumped in to increase thermophilic, or heat-loving, microbial activity. After a month, a corpse will yield about a cubic yard of fluffy soil, which will then be given to the deceased’s family. I have to let you know this process is not legal in B.C. at this time and currently is only legal in a select number of U.S. states. But I found it very interesting to learn about how this new process works.

Keep the questions coming to jason@crestonvalleyfuneralservices.ca!

ColumnCreston ValleyOpinion