Deadly Fears!

Most of us have a fear of death. Many of us have what could be called an unhealthy fear of dying…an obsession if you will. Just imagine if you were in the business of death? How do you think you could handle being faced with mortality on a daily basis? And not in the conceptual sense, but rather in the absolutely, brutal and completely physical realm -- dead bodies, in all shapes, sizes and ages. Surely, some who may resemble you!
Well, even for the brave souls (no pun intended) that take in the dead and prepare them for viewing as a way to make a living (again, no pun intended) they too are not immune to the horrors of death.

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Bugs!

The decomposed guy had been found after rotting in his garage for three weeks in the summertime. He was covered in bugs, his skin was black and green, and the flesh sloshed right off the bone. I couldn't do anything for that case, he was cremated.

The decomposed guy had been found after rotting in his garage for three weeks in the summertime. He was covered in bugs, his skin was black and green, and the flesh sloshed right off the bone. I couldn't do anything for that case, he was cremated.

Funeral directors are salesmen, but most are wonderful and caring people. A few will use sleazy tactics to sell you the most expensive bronze casket they have, usually through a guilt trip of 'Your husband bought you so many nice things. Why not pay him back one last time?'

Funeral directors are salesmen, but most are wonderful and caring people. A few will use sleazy tactics to sell you the most expensive bronze casket they have, usually through a guilt trip of 'Your husband bought you so many nice things. Why not pay him back one last time?'

Grim Reaper

People who die at home usually die suddenly or unexpectedly, so the family is already experiencing a higher-than-normal level of grief, and then I show up to take their loved one away. I am not always a welcomed house guest, which is understandable because, let's face it, I'm basically the Grim Reaper to them.

People who die at home usually die suddenly or unexpectedly, so the family is already experiencing a higher-than-normal level of grief, and then I show up to take their loved one away. I am not always a welcomed house guest, which is understandable because, let's face it, I'm basically the Grim Reaper to them.

The Smell

"... the fresh ones usually only smell like urine or fecal matter due to defecation, ones who have been long dead are terrible smelling. I have disinfectant when I open those bags."

"... the fresh ones usually only smell like urine or fecal matter due to defecation, ones who have been long dead are terrible smelling. I have disinfectant when I open those bags."

Mother and Child

"If a mother dies giving birth, the medical examiner will always take the baby out to find cause of death. The baby and mother go through an autopsy. When they get to the funeral home, we can embalm both and keep them in the same casket. If the family wants cremation, we do have to cremate them separately and then the family can mix the remains."

"If a mother dies giving birth, the medical examiner will always take the baby out to find cause of death. The baby and mother go through an autopsy. When they get to the funeral home, we can embalm both and keep them in the same casket. If the family wants cremation, we do have to cremate them separately and then the family can mix the remains."

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

CJD or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a very rare brain disease that recently has caused a scare through the mortuary community. With fears that the embalmers could contract the disease lawsuits have been popping up with funeral homes and even crematoriums refusing to work on victims of CJD.

CJD or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a very rare brain disease that recently has caused a scare through the mortuary community. With fears that the embalmers could contract the disease lawsuits have been popping up with funeral homes and even crematoriums refusing to work on victims of CJD.

'Beef Jerky'

I did accidentally stab myself with the suture needle trying to get through the 'beef jerky' flesh.. That was scary, luckily he had been embalmed so no disease!"

I did accidentally stab myself with the suture needle trying to get through the 'beef jerky' flesh.. That was scary, luckily he had been embalmed so no disease!"

The Dreaded Tissue Gas!

Tissue gas is caused by a spore forming anaerobic bacterium called Clostridium perfringens, usually resulting in what many times is referred to as the “Embalmer’s Nightmare”. When this spore is left untreated it can reproduce so quickly (simultaneously destroying the cadavers tissue) that after only a few hours left unattended the body can become virtually unidentifiable! In addition, tissue gas is so contagious that if it gets on the embalmer’s instruments, it will spread to the other bodies. One embalmers put it like this, “It’s like the movie Outbreak but in a morgue. And once it takes over, we pray for a cure, but that prayer is rarely answered.”

Tissue gas is caused by a spore forming anaerobic bacterium called Clostridium perfringens, usually resulting in what many times is referred to as the “Embalmer’s Nightmare”. When this spore is left untreated it can reproduce so quickly (simultaneously destroying the cadavers tissue) that after only a few hours left unattended the body can become virtually unidentifiable! In addition, tissue gas is so contagious that if it gets on the embalmer’s instruments, it will spread to the other bodies. One embalmers put it like this, “It’s like the movie Outbreak but in a morgue. And once it takes over, we pray for a cure, but that prayer is rarely answered.”

Working on the Bodies of People You Knew

I've dealt with a few... That was rough, I cried. I haven't had to work on someone super close yet but I'd rather work on them than someone else. I don't trust anyone to do as good of a job with my loved ones as myself."

I've dealt with a few... That was rough, I cried. I haven't had to work on someone super close yet but I'd rather work on them than someone else. I don't trust anyone to do as good of a job with my loved ones as myself."