Today I had a job. A gig, if you like. A funeral gig.
I’ve been working in libraries for the last 16 years; a qualified librarian for 14 of those years. I’ve worked both medical and academic libraries but mostly medical. Actually, I’m going to break that down here because I’m curious to see what the balance is…
- 2000-2001 Hospital
- 2002-2005 University
- 2006-2008 Medical college
- 2008-2016 Hospitals
I’m now officially “unemployed” in that I don’t have an ongoing position anywhere. I’m a freelancer. This year and last year I was a sessional marker for a Health Librarianship course. It’s great to still remain connected to the (work) life that I have lived and loved for so long.
These days my regular work (such as it is) is actually as a singer and organist. It’s a great job that allows me to spend most of my day mumming. The vast majority of my “gigs” are funerals. I’ve done 3 weddings in 2 years but I’ve done over 50 funerals. I’d like to think I know what I’m doing in this field. Based on feedback from bereaved family members, priests and the funeral directors I’ve worked with I’m pretty good. (pats self on back)
It’s an odd thing to be good at. It’s also an interesting way to spend your day. Being around people who have lost someone near and dear to them kinda puts a lot of things into perspective. The eulogies give me a sense of who the deceased person was but also how they are regarded by those who mourn them. I think I have posted about this once before.
The music chosen also tells me a lot about how the families feel about their deceased relative. Some hymns (and they mostly are hymns) talk about God’s love for us and how He will hold us and comfort us. Some talk about the promise of eternity. Some talk about how those who have passed away will be welcomed home into the loving arms of God.