Category: Embalming

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…


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…


Autopsy Explained

No, I don’t mean the entire procedure. I mean what you can expect when you make a funeral arrangement for someone who has been autopsied. Different counties and states have different methods of performing an autopsy. Most people know the trunk of the body is split open with the classic Y incision, but most autopsies…


Dead People and Disease

My last post prompted a few questions about what diseases one can catch from a dead body, so I will cover the most common concerns here. The dead are, almost always, no more dangerous than the living. Touching the intact skin of a dead body, even a body that has been dead for days, is…


About Organ Donation

It’s basically a huge scam. If you feel good about yourself because you signed up to be an organ donor, I am here to ruin your day. In order to donate organs, you have to specify this in a legal document – the “D” on your drivers license is not enough. Also, you need to…


Just Follow The Instructions

People are often surprised that I can cook. I never understood why. Can’t everyone? You just get a cookbook, get the ingredients and do what the recipe says. Except it doesn’t always work that way. Ten people following the same recipe will produce a dish that slightly varies in ten different ways. I don’t know…


Another Full Post

  I used to love working on autopsies…before I started to see too damn many of them.   My second case ever was a complete thoracic/abdominal/cranial autopsy, or “full post” as we in the business say. I had no idea what to expect, but it was my second week on the job and my very…


Kosher Embalming

Embalming is almost never required by law, not even for viewing purposes. Many funeral homes, churches and other places where viewing often takes place may have their own policies regarding viewing of unembalmed bodies, but these are not laws. For example, most funeral homes restrict public viewing of an unembalmed body and limit it to…