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, June 23, 2012

A Clean Slate?

I was talking with the outgoing owner of the funeral home today concerning the upcoming transition. I told him what my old boss said about his first day being my first day. I expressed my concerns that this meant I was going to be on probation. The owner had a different take on it. He viewed it as an opportunity to start fresh with a clean slate. I hope that's the case, I really do.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Unsettling News

I got some rather unsettling news today. It turns out the owner is retiring and selling the business to my former boss, with whom I've had some less than ideal interactions. He says he'll keep me on, but that his first day as owner will be my first day, as well. I take that to mean I'm on some sort of probationary period, which I fear will include a pay cut. He also said he will be making all the arrangements, which confuses me, because he also said he has some ideas to help me "come out of my shell." I'm not sure what he has in mind; I guess time will tell.

If you're a praying reader, pray for me. Thank You.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Busy Weekend

Have you ever experienced a lull at work, one that lasts so long that when you actually get busy again you start to resent it? That was my weekend. Saturday evening I had two calls, one house call and one at a hospice facility. The house call is a direct cremation, the family will be coming in Monday afternoon to make arrangements. The other call was preneed, with the family out of state. Everything will be handled by phone and fax. This morning I had another house call, this time with embalming. That was after I went in this morning, made the telephone arrangements and took a body to the crematory. I had only been home a couple of hours and was just about to fix lunch when I got called out. I knew this call was coming, as the family had come in a week or so ago to make some preliminary arrangements. Between the lack of sleep, the heat and humidity and the embalming, I'm wore out, and it's not even Monday yet.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


The doctor finally signed the death certificate! It was on the fax machine Wednesday morning. I faxed it to the state, then entered it into the system once I had access. The last time we needed a rush cremation approval, I had faxed the certificate to the Medical Examiner with a note explaining what I needed. They told me next time I should fax the Death Record Review sheet, so I printed it out and did just that. Three hours go by without a word. I called down there and was told I had to wait for the record to make its way through the system. That worried me, because even though I faxed it to the state first thing that morning, they could take up to 24 hours to review it and forward it to the Medical Examiner. Thankfully, I had approval just after lunch, and the cremation was accomplished that same day. Next time I will be more mindful of my time frames, but I honestly did not expect the doctor to take three and a half days to sign the certificate.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Doctor Is Stressing Me Out

Almost a week ago (it was last Thursday), I sat down with a family to make their arrangements. They wanted a cremation, with a gathering of friends and family at the funeral home with cremated remains present. I told them the end of the following week (which is now this current week) would be a good time. They decided on this Thursday. This would give us time to get the death certificate signed and the cremation performed. That very afternoon we got the death certificate to the doctor. I called Friday to follow up on it, and was told it wasn't signed yet, but would be by the end of the day. I emphasized the importance of having this completed. I called Monday to make sure it had been signed. I was told not yet, but it would be by the end of the day. Again, I explained the urgency of the situation. I called this morning (Tuesday) to check up on it, and was told it wasn't signed yet but to call back after lunch. I said I would, and explained the importance of getting this finished.I called back after lunch and was told it wasn't signed yet, but it would be by the end of the day. When I left work, I still did not have it. If it's not signed tomorrow morning, I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm afraid to tear the doctor's office a new one, because that won't help my cause at all, but they don't seem to understand how badly I need this certificate. Without it I cannot get cremation approval, and without that I absolutely cannot get the cremation performed. Worse case scenario, I have approval by the end of the day tomorrow. I can still cremate Thursday morning and have the cremated remains for the afternoon gathering, but that's cutting it much closer than I like. The absolute worse case scenario is no cremated remains present at the gathering. I don't want to disappoint the family, but I did tell them getting the doctor to sign is the only part of the entire process that is beyond my control. We'll see what happens tomorrow.