Well, Did You Remove the Face?

I was optimistic when I opened the bag. For jumping off a bridge, it wasn’t too bad. He was in one piece; many jumpers are not. I’ve seen some that look like human gravel; they can’t be dressed and it’s hard enough just to move them. But this kid was in one piece, so I…


Skin Slip is the Worst

I was offered what I thought was going to be a standard restorative art job – a young child who had died of cancer, had already been embalmed, and who was showing signs of desquamation; meaning her skin was peeling off her face (common in bodies with heavy edema caused by extended chemotherapy treatments) and…


2021 Will Probably Still Suck

I spent New Years Eve embalming a covid body, which is fitting, because I was the one who embalmed the first US covid case. I think I’ve only written…three or four pieces this year? The usual reasons, I’m constantly working or sleeping, but another reason is I can’t stand the look of this site. The…


When Covid Is Over

Well, I wanted to start covering my face in public anyway. Other than that, this pandemic has been an absolute nightmare. When I had the honor of embalming the very first covid case in Washington state, I thought it was a fluke. This virus will never take hold in America because we have, you know,…


What A Depressing Job

For the first time since my brother’s memorial service, I cried at a funeral. I did a really nice job on my friend. He was positively glowing; guests were literally gasping over him and crowding around to take pictures and I came away from it feeling like I had done something nice for a fellow…


Burying Our Own

Once you are settled into your funeral service career, it occurs to you that you will most likely embalm, cremate or otherwise personally handle the remains of your closest family members. So you come to terms with it, maybe even discuss it with them. Yes mom, I will personally come to your house and drive…


It’s Not Stupid At All

I just broke a massive sweat doing a bodyweight workout in my room. I’m old enough to get injured in my sleep now, so I had to cancel my gym membership (temporarily) and swap it for physical therapy, resistance bands and wonderful, wonderful Prednisone. If you’re arranging a funeral, and you have a request that…


I Can Fix That

I’ve said before, I’m amazed whenever someone chooses a painful method of suicide, especially in the presence of simpler alternatives. Recently I had a lady who burned herself up in her car. She didn’t crash it, she sat in her car and lit some papers on fire and just stayed there. She could have exited…


Your First Death

“We have funerals every day. The families we serve do not.” This was on the sign of a prep room door, and is quickly forgotten by any funeral directors who have taken 3 a.m. calls from people whose mothers were given six months to live. We can’t do anything, but they don’t know that. We…


You’ll Find Something Else

It’s finally happened…I realize I say this a lot, and it’s always about something that was just waiting in the wings, something to which I am no longer immune. I’ve had a heart attack. It was “just a mild one,” according to my doctor. I didn’t even know what it was, didn’t seek help. I…