Category: Modern Death Attitudes

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…


It’s His Birthday

I don’t even have the case for sure and already I’m wondering about using that auditorium I used for my car wreck family that had 500 guests, because this one will have far, far more. Should I put all the kids in one casket or one of the babies with Mom? How many hearses? Last…


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…


What The Bullet Will Do

An athletic body, a bored look on her face, and a gaping hole in the very center of her chest where she shot herself with a handgun. No embalming, service was on a Saturday and the cemetery guys complained about it. I asked if she was Jewish because the family wanted the least expensive casket…


Death – It’s Happening!

I love going on removals. I love being the family’s first contact with the funeral home, the chance to make a good first impression, and since I’m also an embalmer, I know the importance of not wrapping the face too tightly in plastic or carelessly storing the body in the cooler without regard to positioning….


Myths Dispelled

There are several myths and urban legends passed around about the dead and what people have seen dead bodies do. These stories are all lies. Every single one of them. Even if your uncle was a mortician and he says his friend saw it happen all the time, your uncle is a liar. I will…


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…


It’s OK To Avert Your Eyes Sometimes

In the early ’90s in Liverpool, England, Denise Bulger was shopping with her two-year-old son James, and she turned her back on him for literally 30 seconds. When she turned around, he was gone. Later, surveillance from the store would show James being led away by two males. That day, James was walked to the…


The Day the Sheep Died

As a child I felt fortunate to grow up in the kind of neighborhood I did. We lived in a major city, but in a large valley where properties were commonly one acre or more. We had a huge house with a half-acre, fruit and cedar trees, and a bridged creek running through the front…


Understanding Permanence

I’m reading Cries Unheard: The Case of Mary Bell by Gitta Sereny, written in 1998 about a ten-year-old British girl who, in 1968, murdered two small boys by strangulation. This book was based on several interviews with Mary Bell, now living under an assumed name. Mary spoke of not really understanding the permanence of death;…