Monday, June 8, 2009

Clean navels for all

There are some things that I get to experience that aren’t in the general public’s realm of experience.

Mondays tend to be busy at the funeral home, and whenever we have services scheduled for a Monday we try to have part-time workers work them so that us full-time directors can be available to meet with the new families that we got over the weekend (some of the families we meet with over the weekend, but not much can be done with them since cemeteries, doctor’s offices, and churches don’t have office hours on Saturdays and Sundays). So, this morning I’ve been working on the family I met with Saturday, calling the church and cemetery, getting the flowers and musicians, etc., and tying up the loose ends from this weekend. Well, Buck, the director that was on call this weekend, must have felt bad that I came in to work on my day off because he and Tank are meeting with the new families today, and I’ve now got nothing to do.

So, back to the experiences that I get to have: Since I have nothing to do I decided to go into the embalming room (also called the prep room) and hang out with Jane, the embalmer that does most of the embalming here. She’s about 50 years old, and we get along very well. She’s been in the business for about 25 years and is an AMAZING embalmer, and has taught me quite a lot in my time at this mortuary, which is handy since the man that originally trained me was a woman-hater and didn’t want me in his prep room (“You have such a pretty face, Doll, you shouldn’t waste it back here with the dead. And the chemicals will hurt your ability to have healthy babies.” Really?? What??). So, she was getting ready to start a case, and I helped her get the body undressed and on blocks, and we were chatting about the weekend. After a bit more preparation we start injecting and bathing the deceased, and I noticed something that I know I’ve seen her do a million times before, but never really noticed. Jane always washes inside the deceased’s belly button. Maybe that won't seem strange to non-embalmers (or maybe it is such a strange thing to think about that it does sound strange, as does all of this), but it is. And it’s funny. I'm talking hilarious. It took just about all of my self-control not to just laugh out loud there at her. It’s like a trademark of hers I suppose. I mean, I wash the bodies, but I can’t remember sticking my finger in someone’s navel to clean it out. K, so that’s my experience. Maybe I shouldn’t have shared now that I re-read this, but wev, right?


Anonymous said...

I'm going to take extra care to really get into the nooks and crannies of my bodily crevices next time I wash, just incase I die and the embalmer sticks her finger in my bellybutton and pulls out a massive piece of lint and bellybuttonbooger.

Doll Face said...

Okay, that's pretty funny. I lol-ed even.

And, just fyi, lint and bellybuttonbooger are the least of your worries when it comes to strange/gross/smelly things that the embalmer will find.