‘What I’ve learned from doing 100 funerals every year’
MEGAN Egan has been to more than her fair share of funerals.
As a civil celebrant, they're the service she's asked to perform more than any other, and she conducts more than 100 every year.
And the job has taught her a few things along the way.
"It's taught me to live for the moment and be kind. Life's too short to be worried about things you have no control over," she said.
"And talk about death. It's a lot less scary if you can openly talk about it."
Ms Egan - who operates her own business, Graceful Weddings and Civil Ceremonies - has done a lot of baby namings and weddings in the Springfield area, but funerals far outnumber them.
"I also do commitment ceremonies and vow renewals, but funerals are predominantly my area," she said.
"Generally the funeral home would contact me and ask me to take on the role, and I would meet with them to get to know the family dynamics and where they're at emotionally and what they need to hear from me, and of course to get to know their family member who has died."
Despite the emotion of the day, Ms Egan says funerals can be a positive experience.
"I get so much satisfaction from doing funerals because grieving families are so grateful for the help and support to help them get through that time," she said.
And if the dress code dictates, Ms Egan isn't afraid to get into the spirit of the ceremony.
"I just recently did a funeral dressed as Khaleesi out of Game of Thrones. It was a fancy dress for a friend's son, and the funeral director was The Mad Hatter," she said.
"All his mates wore onesies - there was a unicorn, a guy dressed as Wonder Woman, there was a large dinosaur of some sort."
On a lighter note, Ms Egan also married a couple who had his and hers horses in their bridal party.
"His horse was standing with the groomsmen, and her horse was standing with the bridesmaids, and after the wedding, they rode off together," she said.
The former hospitality worker said she enjoys the diversity of her work, and that families often continue to contact her for different ceremonies throughout their lives.
"People use me as their family celebrant. I might have done a funeral at one stage and then they might ask me to do a wedding and then a baby naming," she said.
With the emotional nature of the job, Ms Egan also has a few ways of preventing funerals from affecting her too deeply.
"I can have a heavy week and do five funerals and then finish the week with a wedding," she said.
"I also go and talk to my alpacas and clear my head."
"If it's a really heavy funeral, the funeral director and I will debrief and check in with each other, and then I just prefer to come home and process it in my own head," she said.
"I do this to celebrate life."