Category: Personal Stories

Repeated Exposure to Violence

In high school, even though the stupid career test thing said I’d make an excellent nurse, I knew I wanted to be either a police officer or a mortician. I had no idea how or where one became a mortician, but I knew where the police station was, and I applied to be a cadet….


About Alcohol

I had my first drink when I was twenty-eight years old. Well, technically I guess I did try a shot of Aftershock when I was seventeen, and a bottle of Boone’s Farm when I was eighteen, but I never got drunk until age 28, despite becoming an IV drug user at age 17. It was…


I’m All Caught Up With the Kardashians

Since New Year’s Day is stupid, I like to make equally stupid New Year’s Resolutions. One year I resolved to spend more money on shoes. Another year I resolved to always say “zero” and not “oh” when reading the number. For 2016, my resolution was to pay more attention to the Kardashians. It wasn’t easy….


The Day the Sheep Died

As a child I felt fortunate to grow up in the kind of neighborhood I did. We lived in a major city, but in a large valley where properties were commonly one acre or more. We had a huge house with a half-acre, fruit and cedar trees, and a bridged creek running through the front…


Revisiting the Safe Haven Post

I just read an article about a Safe Haven being used in Indiana. A 25-year-old man dropped off a one-day-old baby at a fire station. He remained anonymous and stated that the mother – who was not present – also wished to remain anonymous and that she did not need medical attention. Since the baby…


Losing a Daughter, Gaining a Son…Not in the Way You Think

I am a funeral director and embalmer with eleven years in the business, but many don’t know I am also the mother of a transgendered child. I have always been supportive of the LGBT community and I knew the right thing to do was accept my child’s new gender identity. She [I still use the…


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…


Die With Nothing

I still think about the man I picked up after he had been dead in his bathtub for five days. Not only because it was the first case I had seen where the deceased was not recognizable as human, but because of the hundreds of questions I would still have about him years later. He…


You Seriously Want To Be A Mortician?

I got a message from a nice young man asking what he needed to do to become a funeral director. At least, I assume he was nice. He wanted to know, “What classes should I be focusing on in school?” I, however, am not nice. I gave him a terse “mortuary science classes” and cut…


You Are Not An Introvert

This post is not entirely about funeral service, but it’s about who I am and how that occasionally affects my job as a funeral director. Today, it’s fashionable to be an introvert, to be socially anxious, to be awkward…or rather, to SAY you are. You are not an introvert. You agree, “Oh ya I totally…