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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Friday, December 26, 2008

Getting Things Done

Christmas morning, about 2am, I get called out. I would hate to lose a loved one around the holidays, but on Christmas Day especially. That has to bite. So I knew coming in to work this morning that we had at least one call to deal with. When I arrived I found out we had two more; one on Christmas Day and one early this morning. In all, we had three families to meet with. Each licensed funeral director (myself, my boss and the owner) took a family. While all of this was going on, we got another call. So that was four calls between close of business Christmas Eve and lunch today.
We generated all the death certificates, and all but one were delivered. There were five certificates, because of a call we had Christmas Eve day that we finished processing this morning. Of the five death certificates, I delivered four, and three of them I were able to have signed on the spot. No doubt I've chalked up some "attaboys" from the higher-ups for this feat. We have two kinds of acknowledgements, "attboys" and "oh crap!" It takes 100 attaboys to make up for one oh-crap!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Granimore Saves The Day!

Not to sound too melodramatic, but I was able to head off a major ordeal. We served a family who lost someone over the weekend. Due to bureaucratic red-tape at the hospital, we weren't able to pick up the body until Tuesday. We had called the doctor to make sure he would sign, and today I noticed he had never returned our call. I called our secretary, who was off today, to make sure he hadn't confirmed before I called him back. So I called his office and they verified he would sign, but we had to get the death certificate to him between 1pm and 4:30pm, because he was leaving for vacation. Today was his last day at work. So I printed it up, checked it over, and put it with our other paperwork for delivery. After lunch, Takes A Day Off ran it down there, found the doctor, and had it signed while he waited. By close of business today, the certificate was back at the office, complete with cremation authorization. All that's left now is to file it with the county in which the death occurred.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I went out Christmas shopping for my wife yesterday. I had the day off, and that's another story, which I will relate at the end of this post. I've gotten her a couple of gifts for under the tree, but I needed something for her stocking. Just as a lark, I thought I would get her a box of crayons and a "Shrek" coloring book. She always loved coloring when she was a kid, and she was always spoiled with a new box of crayons with every new coloring book. So I thought I would run right out and buy one. Not only could I not find a "Shrek" coloring book, I could hardly find any coloring books at all. The toy store, which was my first stop, had very few. Whether it was because of the holidays or coloring is just not popular, I couldn't say. So I went to Books-a-Million, same story. I went to Target, and finally to Wal-Mart, which had more than anybody, but no "Shrek." What kind of a world do we live in where coloring books are so hard to find? So I gave up on that plan and am now wondering what I'm going to do for her stocking.

As to my day off. It was supposed to have been Monday, but Saturday we get a call. It turns out the family wanted Sunday visitation with Monday burial. I knew we were going to be short one man because Takes A Day Off had a court appointment, so I came in to work. But I was able to talk to the owner and get Tuesday off instead. My son and I went to the movies. We saw "The Day The Earth Stood Still." I enjoyed it. It didn't suck. It wasn't phenomenal, but it was worth the price of a ticket.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Official

My wife and I are now proud owners of our home. We've been renting the house for the past year, and yesterday we signed the "rent to own" papers. Our next step will be planning for taxes and insurance. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Pulling The Plug

I'm sure you've all heard the term "pulling the plug." This is a reference to disconnecting any machinery or devices that may be keeping an injured or seriously ill person alive, and usually those aids are all that are keeping that person alive. Sometimes, in my line of work, we will receive calls from families who are taking this step, for whatever reasons best known only to them. I don't judge them for doing this, and that's not the purpose of this post. But I do have to wonder what the expectation is when this step is taken. Do the families think the patient will pass away immediately, or within a couple of minutes? The reality is that it can sometimes take hours, or even days, for the person to die. When life-sustaining aids are disconnected or removed, does the patient suffer while the dying process begins? Is there pain? Are they aware of what is happening to them?

Monday, December 08, 2008


In my last post I mentioned we had four services in two days, two on Monday and two on Tuesday. It turns out that it was three services on Monday and one on Tuesday. It was a busy Monday today. Two services in the funeral home, and one graveside at the National Cemetery.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Could It Be Any Busier?

This month has started off incredibly busy. We've had a call a day, and all of them have been full services, with viewing and visitation. Coming up at the first of next week, we have two services on Monday and two on Tuesday. We've got several calls pending, and we're short one employee. My boss is on vacation. How he managed that during the month of December, I'll never know. Usually December, January and February are our 3 busiest months, and normally we are not allowed vacations during those times. Of the three pending calls I'm aware of, two of them are in excess of 100 miles away. Hopefully those calls will come after things slow down.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I Got My Day Off!

I finally got my day off today, despite a rather hectic weekend. We had the arrangement and ship out on Saturday, as well as a visitation, and we had a graveside service Sunday morning. I was on call this past weekend, and about 3:30 this morning, I get called out. We had prearrangements, so I knew the body would need to be embalmed, but my boss said we could handle it during normal hours. I knew that we also had another body to dress and casket, multiple death certificates to drop off and pick up at various doctor's offices, and a memorial service at 12:30pm today. However, I never mentioned a word to my boss about today being my day off; I simply slept in. I figured if I mentioned I was off today, he would ask me to come in and help get all this done, and I've had enough of sacrificing my days off for this year. My son and I went Christmas shopping and to lunch at Steak 'n Shake. It was yummy.