I made my living by lying on my back as a fireman, now I dig holes for people lying on their backs, the dead!
He worked as a pallbearer and even met his wife at a funeral.
So it is perhaps of little surprise David Homer, 49, chose to become a gravedigger.
The father-of-three, from Measham, Leicestershire, said he enjoys the 'peace and quiet' of his work and insists it is just a normal nine-to-five.
With the motto 'it's not just a hole in the ground, it's someone's final resting place', he tries to give each funeral his full attention and personal touch.
Among his more unusual requests are farmers who were buried in their fields and graves dug in back gardens.
And his efforts have not gone unnoticed. Mr Homer has been named the Gravedigger of the Year.
He said: 'Even when they read my name out as the winner I couldn't believe it. I don't do my job for recognition, I just go about my business and try my best.
'But it's nice to know on those cold and frosty mornings, or when it's pouring with rain, that it's all worth it.'