Monthly archives: December, 2015

Autopsy Repair Timeline

So in between my work on the double homicide, I had another family come in who lost their sister in a car wreck. She hadn’t even been released from the medical examiner, and they wanted to see her RIGHT NOW. It was 2pm. Medical examiner stops releasing at 3. The drive is an hour. A…


Facial Repair, Three More Days

Christmas Eve, right after church while still wearing my silk dress, I drove to the funeral home and removed the cosmetics, wax and sutures from the facial wound. I scraped out all of the absorbent powder and stuffed the wound with phenol-soaked cotton, then left it overnight. I saw blood on the pillowcase so I…


Repairing a Facial Laceration, Stage 1

Today’s case was harder than I imagined and will need more work. Luckily the funeral isn’t for another week so I will have plenty of time. I will document, as much as I can without breaching ethics, the steps I took. I was presented with a middle-aged slightly obese autopsied female, partially frozen. On the…


In An Instant

While you were complaining about bills; yelling at your kids; wondering where the good tablecloth was; playing video games; cleaning the fish tank; calling your mother or learning a second language, I was picking up the pieces of a multiple-family car wreck. One man’s life is forever ruined; his wife and daughter are dead and,…


Understanding Permanence

I’m reading Cries Unheard: The Case of Mary Bell by Gitta Sereny, written in 1998 about a ten-year-old British girl who, in 1968, murdered two small boys by strangulation. This book was based on several interviews with Mary Bell, now living under an assumed name. Mary spoke of not really understanding the permanence of death;…


A Surgeon’s Hands

Many bodybuilders will claim that, without bodybuilding, they would be dead. This is because many of them were introduced to the activity as a way to cope with mental demons or serious emotional problems, and many credit bodybuilding or other athletics with helping them find relief from drug addiction or suicidal thoughts. I would hope…


How Much Does Restoration Cost?

I am pleased whenever I am asked intelligent questions about what I do, and I thought the cost of trauma restoration deserved its own post. First of all, restorative art is a term that can include several small procedures as well as large, labor-intensive work like accident victims or suicides. Many parts of the embalming…