Category: Workdays

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…


Is It Us or Is It You?

I’ve been sitting on a lot of half-written posts. I’ve got one about a local teen suicide, one about how pre-need is a ripoff and a few more random pieces. So I decided to write a whole new one about something comparatively less interesting: why people quit the business. I was following a woman online…


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…


Dead Inside

I meant to write this a while ago, when we got a case of a toddler beaten to death by mom’s boyfriend. Then I was momentarily distracted by some other, more mundane homicides, and then yesterday there was another toddler beaten to death by mom’s boyfriend AND mom. I am the only one at work…


Death: The Great Equalizer

The internet, the greatest invention in the world, has probably ruined everyone’s life at least once. I’ve been fired, ridiculed, rejected and otherwise scorned because of things I have said on the internet or things other people have said about me. It happens. The good news is, because it happens to everyone at one point,…