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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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Extra Work

We had some issues with one of our calls this week. The arrangements called for embalming, which we did. Usually our embalmings turn out very well. With this case, we didn't get very good fluid distribution or drainage of blood. We treated the problem areas accordingly (injecting each leg, hypodermically injecting areas that got inadequate fluid, aspirating twice) and we thought we had everything taken care of.

Prior to visitation, I opened up the foot end of the casket to place a special souvenir inside. I noticed an unpleasant odor as soon as I opened the lid. Visitation went well, with a good crowd. The odor was not noticeable with the lid closed, and that was fortunate. Today I told the owner about the odor, and he checked it out. We decided that after the funeral (the body was being sent out of state for burial) we would investigate and remedy the problem. We get back to the funeral home after services, and take the body out of the casket and place it on the prep table.

We began undressing it to see if we could find the problem. I pulled the socks off and immediately found the problem. There was absolutely no embalming fluid in the feet, and they had started decomposing. They were green and smelly. We injected fluid into the feet, wrapped them in cotton soaked with more fluid, put formalin powder (formaldehyde in dry, crystal form) in some plastic leggings and put those on the body, then put on more plastic leggings and taped them closed. We then gave the body a thorough inspection, hypodermically injecting fluid where needed. We put plastic pants on, then dressed the body and placed it back in the casket and boxed everything up for shipping.

Under ideal conditions, once the body is in the casket, you should never have to remove it. However, sometimes things happen that you don't anticipate, and you end up having to do that much more work to make things right. It is vitally important that we take care of these issues as they come up. This one in particular, as there will be more viewing and services in the home state.


Blogger Jennifer said...

Oooooooohhhh! You lost me at "green and smelly"!
I have always thought your job has to be a terribly fascinating one...but I honestly don't think I could do it. I'm glad there are folks like you that can!

11:35 PM  
Blogger Granimore said...

It is a very fascinating job, and I would not trade it for anything.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Naomi said...

Gosh I could never do your job Granimore. I would be too squemish! I often wonder how they used to get on in years gone by when people kept bodies in their homes. They used to do this in England in the past. Not sure how they stopped them from decomposing.

P.S. Just did a post you might be interested in commenting on:-

5:08 PM  

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