OMG Stop Asking

I’m on Quora, actually one of the few sites I’m not regularly banned from, though I did just get my first warning for calling an anti-vaxxer “highly delusional.” But then, I just got my first measles death, so in my opinion, anti-vaxxers aren’t told often or strongly enough just exactly what they are and what…


My Second Ramadan

I have been incredibly overwhelmed. I hope I haven’t lost any of my eight subscribers. One day in mortuary school, I cried myself to sleep with a bottle of Mad Dog, because it just never stopped. The deaths, endlessly, one after the other, until I no longer knew what day it was. My resolve to…


But She Was So Pretty

If he hadn’t been just a kid I wouldn’t have bothered, but it was one small thing I could do. I carefully lifted bits of scalp away from a head that was, by my own standards, not fixable. I cut off what hair I could, then washed it, and tied it into small bundles. It…


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…


Stop Banging

Seven months into Islam and I still kick myself for taking so long to finally convert, after three years of thinking about it. But there is one thing about being a convert, particularly an American convert, that will always set me apart from those born into the faith – complete and total separation between the…


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,…


What It’s Like to Work For SCI

If you’re in mortuary school, or have been looking for a job for a while, you’ve probably been warned not to work for SCI. Nearly everyone in the industry works for SCI – the uninterestingly-named Service Corporation International – at some point. They’re the largest funeral service corporation in the world, so if you live…


The Case No One Wants

I don’t normally use content warnings on any of my posts. This is a site about funerals, embalming, death and grief. Most people know it’s going to sometimes be too graphic for their tastes, and can choose to avoid posts filed under “Embalming”, for example. I get a lot of comments from people thanking me…


How Much Does She Weigh?

It has finally happened – I have a bad back. I’ve gotten old. I own heating pads and go to physical therapy and sometimes even have to turn down work. Several years ago, I was the one who got called when there was a 350-lb body in the morgue. I’ve lifted 300-lb bodies off toilet…