Meet a Funeral Director: Monecia Michelle Smith from Still Waters Funerals Services & Alkaline Hydrolysis
Monecia, how long have you worked at Still Waters Funeral Services? How did you first get into the profession?
I have been working at Still Waters Funeral Services for almost 2 years. The way that I first got into the Funeral Service profession is after I went to assist my mom to do my late Grandmother's hair and make-up. This is actually when I realized that I could do this type of work or should I say service. My mother used to take me to Funerals with her and I enjoyed attending Funerals. This is where my interest peaked and by the age 13-I knew what I wanted to be which is a Mortician, I then began sharing this revelation with my friends and classmates so fast forward to 2002 when I attended Mortuary Science school it was official. I was age 33 and made it to almost 20 years in the Serving Families at their time of loss and need.
What is your job like? What are you responsible for in a typical week?
My job is rewarding and challenging at the same time. It allows me to interact with the families who entrust us with their Love One's. Everyday is different which keeps it interesting and often spontaneous.
What is your favorite part of your job?
When I arrive to work each morning I log onto my computer to check emails from my boss to see what tasks I have to do from my boss first and next I log onto the Electronic Universal Death record filing system to work on processing death certificates. Throughout the rest of the day I am required to answer the usually busy phones with any questions or concerns that a client family or prospective client family may have. Within a typical day I will either have a Celebration of Life to attend, or drive to our Service center to perform a Hair and Makeup service on a Deceased human being in our care. In a typical week at Still Waters I will do anything that needs to be done and no two days are ever the same. I can honestly say that the my favorite part of my job is warmly accepting a new client family into our Funeral home where I begin making Their Deceased Love One's Funeral Arrangements to reflect the Life and Legacy, and then working on all of the selected service details to then arrive at the day that we get to Honor the Life of the Decedent where the Family and Friends are gathered together to experience everything that we planned together. And once we've concluded our services to be able to complete the final service details with our Client being satisfied with all that went forth during the Funeral period.
What do you wish more people knew about funerals and cemeteries?
I wish people knew that funerals are the most important Meaningful event that will ever take place in a person's life. I realize that the individuals life has now ended but for this reason alone the Celebration of Life for that person should be everything that represents who they were in their years of living. I want families to understand that they get to personalize every detail of the Celebration of Life so to be free to express their Love One's life so that they would be pleased with all that has been said and done after the Services conclude from selecting the Funeral location to host the Funeral to their attire and the final resting place. The final resting place whether it is a public or private Cemetery is sacred and I want people to know that Cemeteries are a place that they can always visit to remember their Love One. They can come back again and again to sit and just feel connected to their family member(s) or friend, companion, and make their visit personal by personalizing it as they would a funeral. The only difference which is the best part is that the Cemetery will withstand beyond one or two days as in the case of a Funeral Rite. And to know that Cemeteries have different rules and regulations that all guest are required to adhere to, so be respectful and remember their Love One(s) lives there.
What was the most memorable burial that you've helped with?
The most memorable burial that I helped with was on a hot summer day at Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego CA. I was serving a Philippino family and they had their repass right there at the gravesite. This was something that I never witnessed before. It was catered and set up under a canopy on a huge table and I was invited to enjoy some mandarin cuisine and I actually did make me a plate and I sat there on the grass with the family and we all are together and departed from there. The food was delicious and everything went well during the burial.
Do you have any thoughts or recommendations for people who are grieving?
My thoughts and recommendations for anyone who's grieving is first and foremost that it's normal to grieve. And it's healthy to grieve a love one Transitioning. Grief is associated with processing and experiencing the loss of a Beloved Love One. And the closer the Survivor was to the Decedent, the more intense the grief is. I would recommend that the individual who is grieving to take time to seek professional grief counseling, to also take time reflect on the life of their Love One and remember that their life has been enhanced in some way from having shared their life with the now Deceased person. I always tell people to understand that their Love One now wants them to be at Peace with their Transition made as opposed to being overwhelmed with grief. And to remember them in a positive manner in order that they can move forward and maybe be an even greater human being themselves which in my opinion is what their Deceased Love One would desire for them.
Is there anything else that you'd like to share with our audience?
My desire is for Society to begin to be more comfortable with the fact that life is a beautiful gift, however because it is temporary that we all should learn how to share our ideas and thoughts about how each one of us want to be memorialized at the time of our Transitioning. If we begin thinking about this natural part of life which is death then I'm envisioning that more people then not will plan their own Funeral or Memorial Service in advance which will in turn make things easier on their families when they do Transition. By Pre-planning and Pre-Funding their own Celebration of Life they will not only have a peace of mind, but they will customize their own Services to reflect their life and legacy as well as save money by locking in todays prices at Still Waters Funeral Services and take this responsibility off of their families shoulders which will allow them to grieve whenever they Transition as opposed to being required to grieve and be faced to deal with making Funeral Arrangements for them and paying for it. It's a better way to take care of our final wishes. The best way to do this is by getting your own final wishes in writing. Contact Us and we will walk you through each step to ensure that you will be Honored with respect, and dignity according to your selected choices made with us at Still Waters Funeral Services.