Todd Vanbeck is the single biggest influence in my career as a funeral director, period.
After thirty four years of doing this thing we call undertaking, that is quite a statement.
As we both get older and grumpier, we appear to not seeing eye to eye as much as we did back in the early 1980’s in Cincinnati. That being said, he is one of a very small, select group of non-family members that if he called me at midnight and said, “I have a flat tire out here in Memphis, can you help me?”, I would be in the car in a minute, heading for I-20.
He has been teaching and writing for decades, blogging for awhile, but is not interested in putting up numbers. His last post before this one was July 6th.
I was eating a quick sandwich at my desk yesterday evening as I was preparing to attend a 7pm meeting. While doing so, I clicked through my favorite bloggers, having little hope that he would have something new.
But there it was.
It was a fairly innoucuous title and I said to myself, here he goes again…..this sounds a little boring.
I started reading the article, getting restless with the set up, waiting for him to get to the point.
Reading articles written by people that you know well, allows you to read in the person’s voice…like they are reading the story to you. For me, it makes reading so much more interesting. If you read enough of any one author, you also learn their style…how they get to where they are going, in a literal sense. I know TVB.
Then, I got the glimpse of where he was going, instantly remembering a similar event in my own career.
By the end of the article, I was
close to sobbing as he nailed it so perfectly.
He is still my teacher and the spark that keeps my fire lit after all these years.
Thank you, dear friend.