New York State Funeral Directors Association

Editors Note: This article appeared in the Iowa Funeral Directors Association's 2017 November newsletter

Dear Lord,

We thank you for this day in which we may give thanks…and, please, just this once, let me finish our Thanksgiving meal before the phone rings because these chances to enjoy food and fellowship together come around so rarely.

Not that I didn’t want to go on a First Call on this Thanksgiving Day, but Dear God, I pray others can make it through this holiday without the loss of a loved one.

If the phone does ring, however, I will be truly thankful for the opportunity to be there – and to do what I’ve chosen to do – not merely as a job, but as a calling.

You see, God, I think you selected me to be there for others, to help where few have the ability to help, to smooth the path and provide solace between the ending of one life and the continuing lives of those left behind.

God, let me not forget to be thankful for every comfort I am able to provide a family left decimated by the loss of a mother, father, husband, wife, child, sister, or brother.

Help me lift these people from the Valley of the Shadow into the light of hope while offering thanks and celebration for the life that was lived, even for a short time, on this Earth.

I know in my heart, I stand among a select few who can serve my neighbors in these unique ways, so let me be at my best – even when I’m feeling my worst.

Give me strength to be excellent in my skills, to have a servant’s heart and to meet each family’s needs with compassion, integrity and sincerity, no matter how much effort it requires.

On this day, I am also thankful for my co-workers, my family, my community – and especially for the men and women who, in the past and present, have worked so hard to make this profession what it is.

I am honored to stand with funeral directors and embalmers through the years who were able to put the needs of others before their own and others before self.

They have set a high standard, but God, give me the ability and the strength to set the bar even higher.

For this, O God, I am thankful.