Reader Question

Hello all, I’ve decided to answer another reader question. Yes, I am a freelance/on-call/trade embalmer, and I also do removals and run errands and meet with families and work services. I can accept or decline assignments at will. I can be on call for weeks at a time or not at all. I work for…


Erlkonig

The legend of the Erlkonig, or Earlking, is that a father and son are taking a frightening journey through a dark forest, in which the Earlking lives, visible only to the children whom he abducts and kills. Throughout the short opera, the Earlking lures and intoxicates the child, who tells his father repeatedly that the…


Five Pounds From Death

Every time I come close to another bodybuilding show, I am reminded just how close my love/hate relationship with this quasi non-sport/beauty pageant is to becoming hate/hate. A couple of female bodybuilders have died recently; one while at a show and the other of unknown causes, but she was almost 70 years old as well….


A Grave I Must Visit

TL;DR version: I dated a convicted murderer who showed no remorse. I wrote this piece in 2009. ***** My interest in the funeral service profession is largely technical, rather than historical. When delving into the funerals of famous people or people who died in strange ways, I am far more interested in how they were…


From the Cradle to the Grave

Or, in my case, from the removal/place of death to the grave. This is how I prefer to take care of my families. Rather than having someone to get the body, someone to meet with the family, someone to greet and seat them (before pitching pre-paid funeral plans), someone to embalm the body, someone to…


Myths Dispelled

There are several myths and urban legends passed around about the dead and what people have seen dead bodies do. These stories are all lies. Every single one of them. Even if your uncle was a mortician and he says his friend saw it happen all the time, your uncle is a liar. I will…


The Person Next To You

Abuses animals. Steals hubcaps. Beats his wife. Is a convicted felon. Does cocaine. Hopefully your house doesn’t suck this much. I promise this has a point. I’m about ready to do another bodybuilding show tomorrow…well, technically it’s a bikini show because I’ve lost, unintentionally, 30 lbs and would not do well in the bodybuilding division….


Time For Teletubbies!

I remember sitting in the back of the room in third-grade health class, at the little school in the Inuit village, and feeling progressively sicker as the teacher was explaining things about blood and cells and organs and how when you stand up straight, the blood flows to parts of the body…I felt sicker and…


Reader Question

I will make this a feature on the blog, rather than personally responding to questions by email (unless the one who asked the question prefers I do not). “What if spouse wants to be cremated, but adult children want burial and refuse to sign off? If burial is not within financial means, are there other…


I Didn’t Open The Bag

Never accept “there’s only one down there” for an answer. If you arrive at a hospital or nursing home to pick up Harold, even if there is only one deceased person in the entire building, you must verify that person is Harold before assuming custody. Hopefully, Harold will have an ID band (or even better,…