I finally think I know what I want to be when I grow up.
And it's a celebrant.
I just discovered this today. A celebrant is "is a person who has been trained and certified to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. They serve by providing a funeral service or tribute that is personalized to reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased," according to www.InsightBooks.com). They are not religiously affiliated, but provide services for all kinds of people. This is exactly want to do! Aside from writing, of course. I even looked into becoming a funeral director at one time because I wanted to help people through their grief. But I really have no desire to embalm people. I don't have a problem with the practice, but it's just not my thing. Plus, being a funeral director is a tough job--aside from prepping bodies. It's hard work with tough hours.
Anyway, check this out: "According to the American Religious Identification Survey, Americans who answer 'none' when asked to identify their religion numbered 29.4 million in 2001, more than double the 14.3 million in 1990. If unbelievers had their own state--the state of None--its population would be the second largest state: California, 34.5 million; None, 29.4 million, Texas, 21.3 million." George Will, Washington Post 5/5/05
This is fascinating stuff. How I found out about this profession is through a link one of my e-mail listmates sent out (thank you, Stephanie!). It was to a story on Richard Pryor's memorial service. Being spiritual but not religious, the Pryors did not want a religious service. Instead, they hired Pam Vetter (www.celebrantpam.com). I was immediately intrigued and had to learn more. That's when I went to the InsightBooks.com site. I'll keep you posted as I learn more.
If I get a chance tonight when the cats (three of 'em!) are quiet and not being nosey (yeah, right) and Bill is downstairs drawing, I think I'll give my podcast recording a go. We'll see!
For those of you in the Quad-City area, I highly recommend you visit Crazy Wok. It's an Asian fusion restaurant on 53rd in Davenport (a few blocks east of Brady Street--not down on the Borders end of town). It's fabulous! I got the Mango Coconut Fried Rice with cashews, raisins and tofu. Oh my gosh, is it ever good! I'm going to have my leftovers right now!
Gotta run! Delectible Asian food awaits!