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 they can do with themselves.

I am a “most viewed” writer in all funeral-related topics, and I can often get lost for hours just answering endless questions people have about funerals, and I hope my answers will be useful and interesting to all. I will post a few here, but there is one I am so tired of and just won’t even reply to anymore: variations of “What would a dead body look like after [x amount of time]” and “How long does a dead body last after embalming?”

The body will “last” through the viewing. After it’s buried, I simply don’t care. I am an embalmer because I want to help people have meaningful viewings and funeral services, not because I want to create lasting artifacts that will look perfect to some archaeologist a hundred years later. Realistically, if the decedent had very few problems at the time of death – no trauma, no edema, no sclerotic arteries, no obesity – they are likely to “last” much longer than a body with the problems I just mentioned, but I can’t put a number on it. If you go back ten years and dig up everyone I buried (please don’t), you are likely to find a mix of beautiful preservation and human sludge. There are too many factors at play; too many variables. Any funeral director who gives you a concrete answer in numbers of years has no way to check the accuracy of his statement, because disinterments are very rare.

So stop asking! I won’t answer. The body will last through the funeral.

Here are some more interesting questions.

What is the number one biggest misconception about death care professionals?

When Aretha Franklin died, and there was a several day viewing of her body on display, she was dressed differently each day. Do you think that was appropriate?

Do morticians get upset when they embalm children?

What moment made you think “I don’t get paid enough for this”?

If you could have any kind of funeral or mortuary rite – without regard for legalities or social mores, what would you truly want?

What would a funeral director or embalmer never tell a family about what goes on behind the scenes?

Can a family see a loved ones body in the morgue even if the body is horribly mangled?