Editor’s Note: Joseph Demerly Bell is a native Buffalonian who is now a licensed funeral director in South Carolina. He shared some poignant reminders about the dignity of life on his social media platform and agreed to share his good words here on Spectrum Health Voices. These are simple yet powerful things to remember as we continue to heal and grow together toward a place of hope.
I’ve learned some things in my current role as a licensed funeral director; much of it is technical but just as much is observational. Here are some takeaways that I hope you’ll find thought-provoking:
Your Words Matter
– Make sure the last thing you say to everyone you come into contact with is positive and meaningful. “I love you,” “thank you,” or “be safe” are good examples.
– Frequently write letters (or texts, or emails) to people you care about. A happy morning emoji or meme or recent photo can set an awesome tone for someone’s day.
– Never go to bed angry, frustrated, mad, spiteful, or depressed. Pick up a phone, have a conversation with someone you trust, forgive, forget, and dream of happy things.
Live Life Fully
– Don’t put off until tomorrow something that might help someone today. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
– If you’re not feeling well (physically, emotionally, or otherwise), seek professional help. There are doctors of all expertise available online, but emergencies should not be delayed. If you’re concerned about the cost, think about the alternative instead.
– Don’t do drugs. The first time may be your last time. And don’t over-imbibe on alcohol – certainly don’t drive or take responsibility for others while under the influence.
Make and Keep Priorities
– Work to live, don’t live to work (I have trouble with this one.) Find something you like and want to do that will pay your bills. You don’t have to live like the Kardashians to be happy.
Yes, Your Words MATTER
– Compliment each other and strangers. Sincerely.
– Tell those you love you love them. Whenever you see them or think of them. There are worse things in life than to sound like a broken record – especially if the song playing is uplifting and meaningful.
Joseph Demerly Bell