And So Begins My New Life

Join me as I embark on a new life and new career in Funeral Services.

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Score One For The New Guy

A lot of funeral homes will have hoists or lifts that are used for raising the bodies off the prep tables and placing them into the caskets. This process is known in the industry as "casketing." Our funeral home has no such equipment; we simply pick the bodies up and place them in the caskets ourselves. At a minimum, this is a two man job: one person handles the upper body, the other takes the abdomen and legs, then the body is lifted and transferred to the casket. Occasionally, we will receive a larger than normal body which may require three people to handle.

We had one such body come in this week. Me and the returning employee got the body dressed, then waited for someone to return to the funeral home so we could casket the body. We decided to wait 30 minutes, and if we were still by ourselves at that time, we would go ahead and attempt it ourselves. However, my immediate supervisor returned a few minutes later. I said something to the effect of, "I'm glad you're here, this is definitely a three-man job." He told me that, no, two people could handle this large body, and that I should standby and watch how it was done. The old employee took the upper body, and my boss took the lower half. He got in position, got his arms under the lower back and thighs, and then proceeded to struggle and strain, huff and puff, and turn at least 3 shades of red, all without succeeding in lifting the body. He meekly admitted to me I should come over and help because "...the legs are too big for me to get my arms around!" I wisely chose not to say, "I told you so."


Blogger Jennifer said...

Wise choice, the not saying anything, although I know you were thinking it ;)
I think I would have a hard time with the hoisting. It's hard enough for me to touch the hands crossed on the chest. I suppose when you've done it enough, it doesn't bother you as much.
I ran over a cat once, and I nearly got sick picking it up (and it looked fine). Something about the unmoving, nonbreathing. It just stops me in my tracks.
That's why God made you with your dreams, and me with mine. It takes all kinds to make a world! :)

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Coral said...

Good for you!! I have a big mouth and ...... you can imagine!!

2:40 AM  
Blogger Granimore said...

The very first time I worked on a dead body, I watched the embalming process, the cavity treatment, all of it. Then, when we were finished, my instructor said something like, "ok, now wash the body." Just for half a second, I flinched on my insides, thinking, "you want me to touch it?" And, of course, I did.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's great to see that you are doing such a great job at the funeral home. I'm glad you like your new profession.

David M. (SC)

7:31 PM  

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