It’s a dirty job – and I’m an expert.

Do you remember that show “Dirty Jobs?” I remember thinking, who in the world wants to do that for a living? Who wants to work with sewage, or be covered in mud on a daily basis? Who wants to shovel manure all day, or work in a meat-packing plant? There are many grungy jobs I would never want to attempt. 

Which dirty job would you never want to do? Realistically, someone has to, or should do, this job in order to make the world function, right? They may not be fun jobs, but we rely on others to do the dirty jobs in this world. For a lot of people who do those dirty jobs, they are actually really good at it, passionate even. It doesn’t matter so much what job you are doing, as long as you do it with all of your heart and soul; you are helping someone, you are creating to help others, you are servicing others and you work hard while doing it.

I never had a dirty job. With the exception of diaper duty while babysitting, I’ve had pretty clean jobs. Well, until….the last seven years or so.

In 2009, I was thrown into a full-time job that I never wanted. I didn’t dream of becoming an expert at this. I never wished that people would consider me a “go-to” person in this field. I dreamed of a wedding (singular)  and babies and vacations. I didn’t hope that someday, people would call me for advice on this awkward topic. I didn’t want this dirty job….GRIEF. It just may not be as visualy dirty as Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs but people hope to avoid it.


Grief is a dirty job. It is messy, unpredictable and lasting. It is downright hard. It might get easier one moment and then throw you right back to where it all started, with a smell, memory, song, or the way the wind blows. Grief doesn’t end at 5pm or at the end of 5 years. Grief lingers. But here’s the thing – grief affects everyone. Every single human being. And it’s awkward. We struggle with what to say, or what not to say, or how to help – really help.

And now God has given me the experience so that I can call myself a sort-of “expert” in the field. I’ve been through the variety of emotions, experiences, learned practical tips, attended and led support groups and grief conferences, read a lot of books, and made many friends along the way who have been there.

What about you? What are you an expert at…that you didn’t want to be? What have you gone through, that has equipped you to be a “go-to” person? If you are open about it, please comment on this post.

“God allows pain because it is the secret to our purpose.”  –Emily Wierenga, author/speaker.

Most importantly, (read this twice): Do you recognize your painful experience as a gift from God? Do you realize you’ve become an expert, maybe unwillingly, in order to help others? 

 Share: “I am an expert in ________.” 


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