Category: Embalming

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…


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…


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…


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…


And The Day He Died

I can find a carotid artery with my eyes shut and one hand behind my back, and when I was still in school I made good on this in front of several other students. My hands knew the motion, knew the depth and location of the cut to make, and my fingers knew what to…


What $200 Got This Family

Teen motorcycle wreck found by his mom. He has to look perfect. I rebuilt features. There was a drill used. I sank fifteen hours into him, told the director if my fee was an issue I would donate my time, and he looks…well, you know, amazing. One for the personal pride log. I should be…


To See What It Felt Like

Yesterday started with me getting punched in the face, and ended with me doing a removal after sitting in dog pee. And with that, jaundiced bodies tend to be very difficult cases. Short version: jaundice is produced by a chemical known as bilirubin, which stains the skin a bright yellow. Formaldehyde + bilirubin = biliverdin…


Our Own Personal Limitations

When I first started on the job, I practiced the way far too many interns do – handling the body too softly, as though it were a newborn baby. It is natural to work with great care when tasked with such an important job, but sometimes, you have to be forceful. Embalming is not a…


101 Things

In the manner of another blogger I follow, Caleb Wilde, here are 101 things I have done as a funeral director. 1. Dressed a body in one of my own suits when she had no clothes 2. Put one of my own cashmere scarves on a body to cover an incision 3. Worked a whole…