Phew . . .

Long week. Long day. Tonight . . . I rest. It’s good to be ahead of schedule on my writing on days like today. I had the annual Executive Committee meeting for my Board of Trustees today. Went very well, and at the end they informed me that they were giving me a rather nice bonus for a rather nice year of work (our fiscal year ends next week). That was very unexpected, but very considerate of them. Much appreciated! As soon as that meeting ended, we shifted gears to (sadly) a funeral for an RPI alum who passed away earlier this week. He was a couple of years younger than me. Very sad. I went in early today to design and lay out the funeral program and work with the students to get the building ready for the wake and mass. It’s an interesting side element of my job: I was hired for my connections and insights and management skills in the arts, but since we’re a multi-service facility at the C+CC, with full-service church functions involved, I also get involved in lots of weddings and funerals. I had only ever attended maybe two funerals before my dad’s a couple of years ago. I attend that many in an average month at work now, and I’ve reached that odd point where I’ll walk and work around an open casket, working with the priest and/or funeral director to get the chapel ready for services or whatever, without having an “Oh, wow . . . that’s a dead body lying there” reaction anymore. I’ve seen enough open caskets now to actually know what people mean when they say that a mortician “did a good job:” you can truly recognize a good job only when you’ve seen a bad job or two. It’s an oddly challenging, yet rewarding, element to my work, helping people process their grief in a very public, difficult setting, making sure that all the seemingly insignificant little things are tended to so that they feel that the funeral experience is a good one, free of annoyances or bothers. But now, for me . . . rest. Phew.

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