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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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Worst Removal Ever

I went into work today, after a day off, hoping that all would be well, and that we could work our usual 3-4 hour morning and knock off for the day. No such luck. As soon as I walk in I'm told we have a call. I make the removal, which calls for embalming. Also, the family wants a private autopsy. So we call the pathologist and set everything up, and begin embalming. We're finishing up when the pathologist calls and says he'll be in about 2pm. I decide to knock off for lunch, because I'm on call and will have to be at the funeral home as long as the Doctor is working. When I come back from lunch I learn that we have a house call, body was found after 3 weeks, bring two men and Hazmat suits. So Returning Employee and I gear up and head out. The deceased was on the kitchen floor, completely black from head to toe, due to the advanced decomposition. A few hundred flies are buzzing all over the house, and the body is literally covered in maggots. There was a pile of them about three inches high just pouring out of the anus. Blood and fluid covered the floor for about 2 feet in every direction and the maggots were just swimming in it. We brought in a plastic sheet, laid down a body bag on top of that, and rolled the body in. Then we carried that to a cleaner part of the house, and rolled the body bag into yet another body bag. We then carried that outside to the stretcher and went straight to the cooler. Once there we poured cavity fluid inside the body bags, glued the zippers shut and put the body on the rack. In my four years, that was the worst case I've seen, but we handled it rather well, I think. By the time we got back from that call, the Doctor had arrived and was beginning his autopsy. In all, I pretty much put in an eight hour day. On top of that, I've got about a six hour day tomorrow, because we have viewing and visitation and a service, which I will be working.


Anonymous Shicky said...


9:56 PM  
Blogger Granimore said...

Yeah, it was pretty bad. The smell stayed with me all afternoon. When I got home I swabbed my nostrils with lemon juice. The acid neutralized the odors clinging to my nose hairs.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Shicky said...

I will have to remember that trick. :)

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I'm down here in Texas doing some research on something I saw in a local obituary and as a result found your website although I don't know how I ended up here. I have now spent the last couple of evenings reading all your posts. I must say I am most impressed that you had the guts to start this post. It's very interesting and I'm glad to see that other people have stressful days at work also. Clearly, the rules vary from state to state so I have learned alot. Thanks for the stories and keep up the good work!

9:45 PM  
Blogger Granimore said...

Thanks, Barb. The laws for funeral services do vary from state to state, and even from county to county in some cases. For example, the lawbook for funeral services here is a good two to three inches thick. Where I came from, it was only a quarter inch thick. Thanks for reading; I'm glad you found my blog, but every time I try to "find" my blog by search engines, I never get anywhere. I don't use my title, I just put in funeral related terms. Anyway, thanks for commenting.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I couldn't get back to it when I tried so I saved it in my favorites and if my son ever finds it he will tell his dad I am disturbed! I'm in the mortgage business which in no way relates to yours except that in the last few years there have been an abudance of mortgage company deaths. I am curious about one thing - viewings without embalming? I did't think that was allowed....

9:57 PM  
Blogger Granimore said...

In my state, and probably most others, if the body will be in a public situation (viewing/visitation, or at a church for services), then embalming is required. If there is immediate family only, or if there is a direct burial, embalming is not required.

4:29 PM  

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