Category: Workdays

Death – It’s Happening!

I love going on removals. I love being the family’s first contact with the funeral home, the chance to make a good first impression, and since I’m also an embalmer, I know the importance of not wrapping the face too tightly in plastic or carelessly storing the body in the cooler without regard to positioning….


How to Dress a Deceased Person

When I did my internship and actually touched a dead body for the first time, I understood why people said it was harder than dressing a squirming baby. My boss told me if I was ever having trouble getting the clothing on, I could cut it. I could split suit jackets up the back, cut…


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…


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…


Gross Stuff

Before embalming my recent non-viewable case, I spent three hours driving him to the funeral home. I talked. We bonded. I said I don’t mind that he smells bad. This one didn’t talk back, and I didn’t want him to. This case was just way too close to home. The smell of decomp stopped bothering…


Do You Want Her Dressed?

Or rather: “What would you like your mother to wear?” It doesn’t matter if we’re “just gonna burn her up.” She needs to wear something. She can wear a sheet, she can wear a hospital gown, but she cannot wear nothing. My purpose isn’t necessarily to see that all my cases are fully dressed; it’s…


Affording a Funeral for an Infant

For the purposes of this post, “baby” or “infant” shall refer to a child aged one year or under, and a fetus at any stage of development. I am seeing a lot of GoFundMe pages set up for families seeking financial help after they lose a baby. Nothing is wrong with this, as there may…


Go Be An Individual Somewhere Else

Those who know me and my background may be surprised at the strict dress code I enforce at work. It’s no different than many other funeral homes, and includes conservative clothing for men and women, regardless of weather. You will be sweating in a jacket and tie during a 100-degree graveside service. You will be…


Can A Crematory Operator Get Away With Murder?

At first, it looks like the perfect crime. Cremation destroys human DNA, and cremated remains are about five to ten pounds of powder, enough to fill a shoebox. Seems like the easiest way in the world to get rid of a body. In order for a (legit) cremation to take place, first the authorized next…