Could you deal with the dead?
Death is just another part of life that no one can escape, yet in our modern times, we’re far more removed from death than we have ever been. Families aren’t in charge of keeping the body for viewing then burying it own their own like in centuries passed. We’ve got emergency medical services, hospitals, morgues, and funeral homes to do all the unsavory work for us.
As used to dealing with death as those professionals are though, some events have left them shaken.
Particularly difficult family. None of them could agree at all on what to do with their dad. One faction wanted burial, the other was demanding cremation. After much shouting they finally agreed on a compromise- they wanted us to cut their father’s body in half. That way one half could be cremated and the other half buried.
I had to explain to the unfortunate arranger, who at this point looked beyond exhausted, that no, we could not saw a human body in half because that would be very illegal and very messy. (Haceldama)
The most bizarre happened when I was apprenticing. I worked with a senior funeral director on Sundays, just me and him. I’d been working for about two years when he passed away suddenly from simultaneous kidney/liver failure.
The most surreal thing was transporting his body after the embalming was done, back to the funeral home where we worked. (deruvoo)
During high school I got a job for the local funeral home as an assistant of sorts with responsibilities including, picking up deceased from their homes, driving the hearse, digging graves by hand, cleaning up suicide scenes and passing out bulletins at funerals etc.
This one funeral I worked had a man who was cremated who was a bit of a drunk with a large extended family. Per his wishes, his ashes were put in a beer stein and his memorial service involved large amounts of alcohol in various forms.
It was a happy service as these things go, until the deceased’s best friend pulled out a karaoke machine and wanted to play a recording of a song that he and the deceased wrote while drunk. The name was “I’m a fat a*s.” The sound was unintelligible except for the chorus which liberally used the song’s title. Everyone breaks down crying and starts singing along. I excused myself to find somewhere to laugh quietly to myself. (cruciblexxx)