Simply exceptional

words: Jo Parker, National SAIF President
Queen Elizabeth II

I find myself writing this in the midst of national mourning following the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II and must take this opportunity to acknowledge both William Purves Funeral Directors and Leverton & Sons, what an amazing privilege for both companies and I can imagine a very stressful time with the world’s eyes on every detail.

Queen Elizabeth was a truly inspiring woman; she dedicated her whole life to service. Now I don’t suggest that we can compare to this exceptional level of selflessness, but I do believe that as members of the funeral profession we understand what it is to serve the public, sometimes at the detriment of our own family.

Getting the balance between work and family life can be very difficult in our line of work but in a time when mental health and wellbeing is so on point, this balance is very important to allow you time to decompress from the grief that you invisibly but undoubtedly take on with each family you care for.

But how do you reach that balance? Is it OK to say that you are not available, but another member of your team can take care of a family’s needs? From what I have seen on the television over this past week, Her Majesty did seem to achieve that balance between work and family life but, as we all know, it’s a hard juggling act.

In SAIF matters, I look forward to seeing members at the Kent and Essex Regional Meetings and am excited about our first (as Terry Tennens called it) ‘Heineken’ regional meeting, a Zoom meeting aimed to reach those regions that other regional meetings do not reach. We also have the Scottish Educational Day coming up in November which I’m looking forward to attending.

Finally, I’d like to express my thanks to Brian Hart and Brian Stock who, as a super duo, tackled the West Highland Way in aid of my charity PAPYRUS.

Their team dwindled over the months due to work commitments and injuries to just the two of them and no driver, making the challenge far more daunting. Although now over, please feel free to donate in appreciation of their achievement.

You can donate here.

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