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,…


Immediate Family Only

Once again: embalming is not required for viewing. Funeral homes are required to tell you this, in writing and when you meet with them. However, each funeral home or other facility can set their own policies when it comes to viewing of an unembalmed body, and most will restrict viewing to immediate family only. Although…


Non-Viewable Case; Part 2

It actually took several more days before he was ready to ship. The second day, I came back to check on the presence of tissue gas. The places where I made the incisions had no gas building up, but there was gas in some of the surrounding tissues. I made several more incisions in his…