The pillar and lifeblood of society’s foundation is in the contribution of hardworking people. Every person who works hard has his or her own story. Some do it for a living, some do it for a dream, some do it for the dignity of their work; some do it to aid the achievement of others. These people have always been in front of us, living out their everyday lives.
Hello, my name is Clifford Tan, I am 26 years old and I am a bereavement care professional.
The first time I saw a real deceased body, I was shocked. At that time, I was about thirteen or fourteen years old. I followed my father to the hospital to collect a deceased person. It was not the first time I went to work with my father, but it was the first time I saw a deceased body.
Back then, the equipment and the technology for preserving a person’s remains were not as advanced as they are now, so when the freezer for storing the remains was opened, it had a visual and odorous impact. It’s not a pretty picture, and the antiseptic smell was very pungent. I was very quiet that day, which was very different from the usual talkative nature. Dad sensed that I wasn’t myself and tried to help me overcome the images that kept playing in my head. He said that people will eventually die, and there is nothing to fear.
After graduating from high school, my father found out that Taiwan had a major in funeral industry and asked me if I was interested. He wasn’t trying to make me to be his successor. He simply thought that if I could do it, it would be fine. I didn’t have a strong interest, but I wasn’t resistant either. After all, being by my father’s side since I was a child can be regarded as an indirect contact with this industry.
Firstly, not everyone can accept the funeral industry. Secondly, not every family can accept their children working in this industry, but I had these two conditions, so I thought to try it out.
While studying in Taiwan, I also worked as an intern and gradually became interested in this industry. Or maybe it was what I saw and heard when I was working with my father when I was a child, which had already planted a seed in my heart.
Once, my father received a case of a car accident that destroyed a family in the early morning. A family of three had a serious car accident on their return trip from a holiday. The baby was thrown out of the car and died, and the mother was seriously injured. Later, before the baby’s funeral, his father pushed his wheelchair-bound wife to the funeral home dressing room to see the child for the last time. That scene touched my heart very much.
I didn’t know the world at the time, but watching the seriously injured mothers insist on seeing their children for the last time, the pain in their hearts can even be felt by bystanders. Maybe outsiders will comfort the parents with the words ” This was an accident, no one asked for it “, but it is impossible not to be sad, and parents will definitely feel guilt.
As a send-off, driving a hearse is also one of our areas of work, and every bereavement care professional should be able to do it.
You can’t make any mistakes when driving a hearse. Because this is the last journey of the deceased, the most important journey.
The general order of funeral caravans is firstly the escort vehicle, then the hearse, followed by the family vehicle and a bus. The pre-departure preparations will not be carried out on the morning of the funeral, as the preparations must be made the day prior. Colleagues in charge of the escort car will plan the funeral route and determine exactly which way to go on the day of the funeral.
You have to ensure that the car’s tank fuel is filled, your tires are safe, and most importantly, your ” smart tag ”. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if the caravan of family members who followed behind all went ahead if the hearse got stuck at the toll station?
Our traffic conditions are relatively chaotic, so we must pay attention to other vehicles coming and going. Even if the escort vehicle in front is driving faster, we cannot ignore the traffic safety to follow closely, and we must focus on the safety of the vehicle we drive.
Sometimes, at the request of family members, we take the departed on a ” trip through memory lane ” during funerals. Life can’t be repeated, so they go through their favourite places, and say goodbye to familiar places and old friends.
Those in our line of business are very open-minded, because today does not know what will happen tomorrow.
*Original article first appeared in 访问The Interview . Click Here
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