Category: Personal Stories

Have You Ever Seen A Ghost?

I have not. I used to feel cheated. So many people tell me of their experiences with the ghostly underworld, and they’re just regular people with regular lives. I see and touch death every day and the ghosts apparently don’t want to stop by. But one of those regular people said it best: do I…


Making Amends

I find myself yet again in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m not really “like them” – we all say – I am more of a binge drinker than a chronic alcoholic. A couple of times a year, I might go on a big binge, and everything will go horribly wrong for some reason. Then…


101 Things

In the manner of another blogger I follow, Caleb Wilde, here are 101 things I have done as a funeral director. 1. Dressed a body in one of my own suits when she had no clothes 2. Put one of my own cashmere scarves on a body to cover an incision 3. Worked a whole…


Anniversaries

I’m a little late in posting this not-really-about-funerals piece, but it’s still my former anniversary month. On July 1, 2001, I got married. We had a very nice, small outdoor ceremony with only eight of our immediate family present, and I think we may have spent an entire $500 on the dress, rings, honeymoon, license…


Should You Carry A Gun?

A few days ago, I had the unnerving experience of a man trying to force his way into my locked vehicle as I was getting ready to leave. First he tried the door handle, then clawed at the window, then tried to tear off the mirror. His car was blocking me from simply driving off,…


My Christmas List

Now for something a little more lighthearted. I would appreciate any of the following. – Embalming instruments – New embalming machine – Backboard for calls – Airbrush cosmetic kit – Mortuary cosmetics – Antique embalming, surgical and autopsy textbooks – Disaster pouch – Non disposable, custom fit PPE – Case of Introfiant – Case of…


Two Overdoses

I’ve always said I wanted to die while working on a body. Ideally, it would be after I had celebrated my 80-something birthday with my friends, if I make any by then, eating nachos and laughing. Then the next day, while at work in some depressing, poorly ventilated garage, perhaps after having prepared a very…


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…