Passion Ignites Our Purpose

Florie Barry


Copyright 2018 by Florie Barry


Painting of Richard Anderson.

I need to see my daughter,” a grieving mother said to Josh on the phone.  She was crying.”  The Medical Examiner won’t let me see her.”  My son Josh is a funeral director.  He learned that the woman’s daughter, Ava, had been a victim of a violent death. He comforted the mother and promised to speak with the Examiner, and doing his best to help her.

 The Medical Examiner said, “It’s one of the worst cases I have ever seen. We can’t let her see her child this way.”  Josh agreed it was very bad.  Her ex-boyfriend stabbed this beautiful young woman multiple times in the face.  “I don’t care how awful she looks,” the woman had told Josh. “I need to see my daughter one last time.”   It was important to Josh that Ava’s mother finds closure, and keep her beautiful memories of her daughter. “I can do this!’ Josh told the Examiner. “Ava will be as beautiful as she was.”

 When the mom saw Ava, she said, “But she looks beautiful! I thought she would be…”  Josh reiterated that her daughter was lovely. He did not mention he came in on his only day off and spent over 8 hours restoring her beautiful face. Josh did not charge the family for the extra service.  The open-casket service for Ava was beautiful.  Everyone left at the end with the memory of Ava’s beautiful life, instead of dwelling on her tragic death.

 Josh remembered when his dad died over 10 years ago unexpectedly from a heart attack.  Josh felt lost and distressed.  The funeral directors were sympathetic, understanding, and gave comfort to everyone.  They listened to the wonderful stories of the deceased by their loved ones.  This was a turning point for Josh, and his career path became clearer.  As a freshman in college, he enrolled in the general required courses for a Bachelor’s degree.  He wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, but with no specific career in mind.

 Josh called me a few months after his dad’s funeral.  “Mom,” he said. “I know what I want to be.  I want to be a Funeral Director.”  I was surprised, but happy he had found his calling.  “If that’s what you want to do,” I said, “go for it.”

  At the end of Ava’s funeral, her family gave Josh a big hug. They knew Josh had gone beyond the call of duty for their family.  Josh’s employer was also impressed when they saw the before and after photo of the deceased.  The funeral home received a thank you letter from Ava’s family for the wonderful and caring service they received.  Today, Josh is one of the manager’s at this funeral home in Minneapolis.

Josh believes a person’s final journey should happen with dignity and respect.  He is passionate about helping to mend people’s sorrow, and provide beautiful memories they will keep in their hearts.  I have witnessed how a sad and traumatic event from our past unveiled the path of passion and purpose for Josh, as he makes a difference in people’s lives.  His dad is with him spiritually. 

 Sharing this story gives me purpose, to inspire others to reflect on their lives, and discover the spirit within.  Passion ignites our purpose.

I retired from a wonderful accounting career, and continue my passion as a Writer and Toastmaster.  Accounting satisfied my analytical and logical side, while writing helps my philosophical and spiritual side. I hope to inspire my readers and audience to find their purpose and make a positive difference.

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