So many questions!
When is it appropriate for people who work with the bereaved, be they funeral directors, celebrants, (long list of others) to give advice which they suspect might prove helpful even when they are not directly asked for it? How can you be sure that your gut instinct is right? To what extent should you have confidence in both your professional and life experience and just go for it?
I’ll try to give an example so that you get the gist without my betraying any confidences or identities. There are many I could think of but this seems a good one for the purpose of illustration ….
Imagine if the fathers of two young men who died just under a year apart both in their early twenties and in similarly tragic but slightly different circumstances were to meet. The Dads are from the same town and the boys are buried within one hundred yards of each other. Is it possible that should these Dads happen to meet and get chatting that one might help the other? Common ground is why organisations such as Widowed and Young, Survivors of Suicide, The Laura Centre, and similar groups exist but there isn’t a group for everyone and groups are not for everyone.
I am just an average human being working in the funeral business (but not the traditional variety). I have a large family both biological and logical and a vast number of engaging things to do which amuse me which have nothing to do with my work. In other words I have a life. But, here’s the thing. If anything keeps me awake at night it’s not the fact that I work in the death trade and know too much about the ways in which individuals cease to exist. It’s this. Bizarre sets of circumstances frequently come up when I think to myself “if only they (the person or people most affected by someone’s death) knew such and such, I’m sure it would help”. But how can I be sure and is it any of my business?
Situations like this come up often and sometimes I go with my instinct. I might just keep doing that until someone tells me I’m wrong.