The Edge of Strange Worlds

I am drawn to the odd, the taboo, the nonsensical, the unfathomable, the edge; I have lived a life that speaks of constant seeking of strange worlds – including the occasional disastrous result – and in the end it will be said I lived many lives that were not like those of other people. Necessarily,…


I Will Patent This

I just found my new signature embalming move, and I’m not talking about those routine six-point injections like when I worked for SCI. Suspend the body! I’ve never seen anyone do this, but this might still be one of those obvious moves that everyone has been doing for years and I just learned about. If…


Twenty Years

He has been gone longer than he was here. I have always been a sentimental person who recognizes the importance of ritual. It’s why I am a funeral director. So I decided, on the 20-year anniversary, I was overdue for a trip to our hometown and where he died. I hadn’t been there since I…


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…


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…


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…


On Casket Prices

The cheap casket is fine. Really. A low-end metal casket at a funeral home might cost around $1000 or slightly less. It will do the job, and most likely, at the service, the appearance of the casket will go unnoticed. People will remember the color, was it open or closed, and how well the body,…