Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I was on facebook flailing on Cooks Source Magazine like everyone else on the planet tonight and I ran across the term Fluid Pusher which upon doing a google search, I fould your page... And yet I still do not know what this term means.

Okay, forgive me for not knowing, but I have no clue what a Cooks Source Magazine is.

A fluid pusher, however, I do know about, and you will find my description of one in my profile, off to the right of this page.

Ask me anything

Question from roommates

My roommate turns to me, knowing that I read your blog religiously, and asked me what happens the organs they remove during the autopsy? Do they just put them back in and stitch the person up, or dispose of them? Or you stitch up the autopsy incisions? I told her I didn't know, but would pose the questions to you.


The organs, and the brain (which is also removed during a complete autopsy), are, after their examination, usually put into a plastic bio hazard bag, placed back into the thoracic cavity, the severed ribs placed on top of that, and the autopsy incision sewed back up.  When the case arrives to the mortuary and embalming has been approved by the family, the embalmer opens the cavity, takes out the ribs and the bag, opens the bag and pours high index (strong) embalming fluid in it (called cavity fluid), and closes the bag again so it can "marinate" (man, we use a TON of food references in the prep room that I never really paid attention to). After the rest of the body is embalmed the viscera is taken out of the bag and put into another bag just like it, put back into the cavity, ribs placed on top, and the incision is stitched up again.  That's it!

I learned something today

Tumors don't burn up in the cremation process.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hey Doll Face..I have a question for you. As my roommate and I were watching Grey's Anatomy this evening, a dr. was working on an autopsy and removing what seemed to be the intestines. My roommate turns to me, knowing that I read your blog religiously,

So, that's as much of the question that it gave me... Please put the rest in the comments?

Ask me anything

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Conversations with my child

Me: So, Clem, we really need to decide what you want to be for Halloween.
Clem: I want to be the same butterfly as last year.
Me: No. It is much too holy of a day for you to repeat what you were before.
Clem: Okay, I have to think about it.
*thinks*
Clem: Okay, mom, I know…I want to be Lady Gaga.
Me: ?
*pause*
Me: Um, you’re 3, Clem, you realize that you will only have like 3 of her outfits as possible choices, right?
Clem: That’s fine, mom. I’ll just pick one of those three.
Me: Great.

So, yesterday I ordered 5 dozen clear plastic orb ornaments online.  Can you guess which Gaga she wants to be?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Disinterments

So, I had a disinterment this week. A family wanted their mother shipped to another state after having been buried here for 15 years. Luckily, her casket is metal, and she had been buried in a full vault, not just a liner (I suppose you'll need a vocab lesson for those), but not luckily the casket was quite rusty, and she's kinda gross looking I'm sure. But you know what is the best part? This particular cemetery didn't make me climb in the hole to inspect everything first. Nope, they just had me show up after getting her out of the ground, helped me put her in the car, and that was that.

See, thus is how it usually happens: I get to the cemetery when they are digging the hole and once they hit the vault they take off the lid and tell me to go on in to make sure the casket is in good enough shape for them to lift out. I have to open it to make sure the bottom won't fall out either. It smells. I gag profusely while the cemetery guys watch. I have to swallow my own puke. It. Is. Gross. The sit I wore that day has to be thrown away, not even the dry cleaner can get the smell off. My hair smells for days. My skin feels disgusting. The odor is in my noise hairs and I can't get it out. It's really bad.

So, this week's disinterment? Cake walk.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How big are your tits?

LOL. Really? How big are yours?

34 B/C. Right in the middle of those two.

But why would you ask? Will you tell me what that says about me? I am baffled and amused at the same time.

Ask me anything

He died, and somehow I thought maybe he wouldn't

Shit, I'm busy. Actually, the whole office is busy.

So, this past weekend the guy died that I talked about a couple of times before. He looks different now than I remember him.

It's a strange thing, families, and how different they are. I met with a brother and sister yesterday who had lost their mother (I hate that term "lost their ____"), and they got along like they were the best friends in the world. But then there's people like the family in the chapel now, who made us create fucking seating arrangements, complete with names on the pews, just because they didn't want some people sitting with others. And these are close family members, folks.  What is going on?  I get so frustrated by it.  They are all experiencing the same thing, why can't that bond them? Whatever.

I'm tired.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Quickie

I was just thinking today about this thing that happened last week.

I had to change my cell phone number because someone (some lady) called (okay, only twice (that I know of)), and harassed me.

Convo one:
Me:Hello?
Bitch: Fucking dyke! Your daughter is going to hate you! Just like everyone else hates you!
Me:wha?
*click*

Convo two:
Me: Hello?
Bitch: Burn in hell, dyke!
*click*

Or something like that. Anyway, the phone number I have had for 8 years is no longer mine. I actually sobbed to the cell phone gal (bless her heart) about it all.

And, before you ask, it was a blocked number (I have to answer, what if it was a family I'm doing services for?), and I don't recognize the number. And, really, I just want sympathy...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday case update!

I don’t have any gross/fix-it cases currently, but I do have a couple of families right now that remind me why I love my job. Here’s one of them:

The arrangement started with a gal, maybe 45 0r 50, who came in about a month ago and got cremation prices from Monica, and I ended up talking with her a bit too. She said that her dad wasn’t doing too well and that she was going to get prices and information for her mother to fill out, so that when dad died we would have what we need. So, she took the paperwork and I didn’t see her until this past Monday when she, her partner, and her mother came in. They explained to me that dad had improved a bit in the last month, but had declined greatly this past weekend, and they knew he would die soon. So, I went over all the necessary paperwork with his wife, and we had a nice (although teary) meeting, and I gave them my cell phone number, just in case they had questions or he died and I wasn't on call, and they left. Tuesday, at about 5:30, I received a call from the daughter saying he had died an hour ago, and she was sobbing so heavily I had a hard time understanding her words. I knew though, he must be dead, and after a minute or two she calmed down enough to give me the details. I asked her to call me if anything came up between then and the next afternoon when they were to come in to finalize everything, and told her that I was sorry about her father dying. She was very grateful.

The next day we met together again, and I did my best to make them laugh, however briefly, and shortly into the arrangement I could tell they were feeling much more at ease. We chatted about the deceased’s life a bit, and I got to know them better. After all the paperwork was done I folded his veteran’s flag for them, and his wife cried again, and after everyone hugged me, they left. I mailed out a nice laminated bookmark with some of his information on it to his wife today, with a note, and I hope she likes it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Batesville Casket Company

I think this one was Monday's post

One of the giants in funeral service products is Batesville Casket Company. They are run by Hillenbrand Industries, which own a shit ton of stuff (it seems) that is related to funeral service. I would bet that anyone working in the death industry knows Batesville, and most funeral homes in America probably have some sort of casket or urn on their show floor.

They’ve been around a long time, and as most of the caskets we carry, and the funeral homes that have employed me in the past carried, are Batesville caskets. In mortuary school we watch videos on how caskets are made, and those videos were shot at the Batesville plant (probably) in Batesville, Indiana. The company even offers employees of funeral homes that carry their products an all-expense paid trip to see their Indiana plant, and apparently it’s awesome (my ex has been twice).

They also make urns, and googling Batesville Urn or Batesville Casket will probably show you a wide range of what they make. They are known for being higher-end, and therefore more expensive, but all of their products are mass produced, so they aren’t as expensive as places (or people) that offer one-of-a-kind or handmade funeral products.

Their website is here, although, for a company that is so large, it’s really crap.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New friends

So, I am finally feeling a bit better today.  I am tired, mostly tired of coughing, but I finally don't have a headache the size of Alaska.

Wednesday, right? So that means funeral services.

I haven't worked any really fascinating services lately, but I have worked some services that have ended by starting a new friendship or two.

One, a service for a woman in her late 50s (I think), her daughter was the one to make arrangements, along with her grandma (the mother of the deceased), and everything went really well.  So well, in fact, that the daughter invited me (the service was on a Saturday), along with my J and Clem, to meet up with them (she and her hubby, her dad, grandma, some aunts , uncles and a few friends) for breakfast and bloody marys the next morning, so we went.  We had a blast.  They loved Clem, and weren't at all odded out by my having a girlfriend.  It was great.  So great, in fact, that they called a few weeks later when they were back in town (the daughter and her husband) to do it again.  It really was wonderful.  We went to the same Basque place, had an awesome breakfast (served with wine, ???), and they taught Clem how to say she's from the area code that we live in. Hilarious.

I'm not really sure why, but I wanted to share that one with you.  Maybe I needed a little pick-me-up this week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yuck

I am so sick.  If I die of this horrid cold make sure they drag my body to the next county over so the ME doesn't see me naked.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Glee, party of three

Ha!! I'm not sticking to my own schedule.  Today should be embalming, and I started an embalming post, but I had a quirky work episode.

So, I'm sitting here watching Glee reruns with J, and we have a guest.

A man died.  I am working with his brother, who is in charge of his arrangements, and getting everything together for his cremation.  He had a pre-arrangement, so it makes it a lot easier (do it! it really does make it easier, even if you don't pre-pay), and in his pre-arrangement he stated that I am to go to his home and retrieve his wife's cremated remains and put his remains in the urn with hers.

So, today, after work, before I picked up Clem, I went to the man's home.  I took the urn, put it in the car (buckled) and was on my way.  I got Clem and was home shortly after.  When I got home I took Mrs. Dead Husband out of the car (I couldn't just leave her there overnight, what if it was cold...what if the car got broken into...what if the world ends tonight and she's alone?), took her inside, and sat her on the couch.  I found J in the kitchen, putting away the dishes I had washed last night, and I said hi.  Shortly after she came in the living room.

J: What's this?
me: Oh, thats Mrs. Dead Husband.
J: ???
Me: [I explain]
J: What, you want her to watch tv with us?
Me: Well...
J: Um, can she sit on the floor?
Me: Sure (moving her to the floor).
J: Really? You're putting her there so she can watch tv still?
Me: Uh, yeah (OBVIOUSLY!!!!!)

So, she's here, right with me. And I hope she liked show tunes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Schedule

Okay, so, I need some structure. I have a lot to post and have been very disorganized lately and have been neglectful. I have also not had internet at home, and I don’t want to get caught blogging at work, but now I have internet at home, yay!

*Sorry!*

So, this is the posting topic schedule I would like to attempt to keep (at least half of the time):

Monday- Some sort of mortuary-related company profile
Tuesday- Embalming stuff
Wednesday- Stuff about funeral services
Thursday- Update on the cases I am working on
Friday- Personal, unless you don’t want me to include that

Got anything to say?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Next on my list...

The thing that sucks about knowing what needs to be done is that every minute you aren’t doing it you feel like a bit of a failure. This is going to be a downer post. Sorry

I can’t really see any way to not need to get a second job. This single parent thing is killing me. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy in a way I’ve never been before, but I’m also very aware of how much money I don’t have, and very aware how little I had to worry about money before. I cant remember ever worrying about money in my life, not even in college when all I had was a part time job, I always knew everything would get paid, and it hasn’t even really been until this week that I started to actively worry about it. Last night was the deal breaker for me; I woke up in the middle of the night and just thought and thought about it. I couldn’t go back to sleep (which has left me exhausted this morning), and realized that a second job is the only solution, as I have bills that I already can’t pay, let alone the ones next month that will add to the ones this month, which added to the ones last month, which fucking sucks. Not only do I not want to work that many hours in a day, just thinking about my daughter and how much I don’t want to be away from her any more than I already have to makes me cry. I worry that she wont ever understand why I had to do it, take her time with me away, and just knowing that I cant get that time back is killing me. I feel like I’ve failed. Where does one even look for a second job? I don’t have a clue. And where does one find child care for nighttime? I doubt that will be easy. Fuck, this is so hard.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aspiration

So, my friend, Miss Anne and I were chatting it up today, and she had some questions, so, with her permission I'm posting some of our convo:


*Mrs.A* says:
how's the deads
any good ones?
Doll says:
yep
*Mrs.A* says:
omg.
you've been holding out!
BITCH!
Doll says:
I had a tough reconstruction yesterday
LOL
I know!
*Mrs.A* says:
what happened?
Doll says:
13 year old
car accident
her mom died too
but I havent done her face yet
*Mrs.A* says:
omg
sadness
Doll says:
yes
*Mrs.A* says:
a 13 yr old ???
Doll says:
yes, and her sister is still in critical at a hospital here
eek!
*Mrs.A* says:
wtf.
is it bad?
Doll says:
yes
*Mrs.A* says:
like un recognizable?
Doll says:
no, but the girl took a lot of work
but i got to train my coworker a bit on it
so that was great
*Mrs.A* says:
wow. girl i dont know how you do it
do you ever get "scared" of the people?
Doll says:
lol
no
*Mrs.A* says:
i think the eyes being open would freak me out
Doll says:
[the other embalmer] was working on the girl and emailed me a "before" photo of a huge gash on her hand
that was kinda gross
but not scary
*Mrs.A* says:
[cute pet name for my other embalmer]???
Doll says:
lol, thats what i call her, its a pet name
Doll says:
(I explain how I came up with the nickname for her)
*Mrs.A* says:
(i love the nickname)
omg
best
so
tell me this
if people have gashes, or jacked up faces... (holes, etc)
and you try to embalm
doesn't the fluid come out?
Doll says:
yes!
but you just let it
so that the rest of everything gets fluid
*Mrs.A* says:
the vag/buttplug are almost too much to think about!
Doll says:
i knoW!
but its WAY better than the old way of doing it
*Mrs.A* says:
?
cotton?
Doll says:
sewing it shut
*Mrs.A* says:
omg
Doll says:
*VOMIT*
*Mrs.A* says:
eeek.
so
i can plan on a buttplug at death.
Doll says:
most likely you wont need one
*Mrs.A* says:
?
Doll says:
most people dont
*Mrs.A* says:
ohhh
only if you have a flappy butt
LOL.
Doll says:
when i aspirate their guts most stuff gets sucked out
LOL
*Mrs.A* says:
how do you aspirate?
Doll says:
you use a trocar
ill take a photo in  a bit and email it to you
*Mrs.A* says:
(vacuum?)
Doll says:
sorta
*Mrs.A* says:
where do you poke?
Doll says:
near the belly button
lol
its so funny how people have NO CLUE
*Mrs.A* says:
i know
WHY do you think i'm OBSESSED?
/curious
Doll says:
because youre NUTS
lol
*Mrs.A* says:
but i also am kinda scared of the deads
i dont wanna see anyones eyes
Doll says:
you just shut them, you know
or put a towel over their face like you do with their private parts
*Mrs.A* says:
ever have one "gone"
Doll says:
what do you mean?
*Mrs.A* says:
like popped out
or poked out
or missing
Doll says:
ive seen a glass eye a time or two
and one guy had part of his face gone including one eye because of face cancer
*Mrs.A* says:
wow.
how do you fix that?
Doll says:
just like fixing an auto accident
*Mrs.A* says:
lol
Doll says:
lol?
*Mrs.A* says:
like just throw in a muffler, some oil, a wrench and call it good
lol.
 (that's what came to mind)
then i was like ....ohh... like facial reconstruction.
 (sorry)
Doll says:
LOL
*Mrs.A* says:
i need to jobshadow for a week
*Mrs.A* says:
seriously.
Doll says:
thats funny!!
you do!!
*Mrs.A* says:
omg they wouldn't let me watch anything there tho would they?
Doll says:
they sooooo would!
my boss LOVES hot chicks
so you could totally
*Mrs.A* says:
lol right.

So, a trocar looks like this:

(source)
The three small, pointy objects you see are the tips of the trocars and are sharp.  The tip is screwed on before the trocar is used, and comes off to aid in cleaning, as well as to replace when it becomes dull.  The two trocars at the top of the photo are used for regular aspiration of the deceased.  The end with the handle gets attached to a hose and the hose is attached to a bibb (is that the right word?) that sucks air in when the faucet is turned on (see photo below).  Aynway, we use the trocar to puncture the viscera (see other picture) and suck out the remaining body fluids, then pour in some strong embalming fluid to harden and sanitize the trunk of the body.


and is inserted (usually) here:

(source)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend

Last week my manager, Tank, asked what J and I were planning for the weekend, and I told him I didn’t have anything going on, just relaxing. He mentioned that San Francisco Pride was coming up, and I laughed and told him that we really weren’t “those kinds of lesbians.” And really, it’s quite a trip to take (J has never been to SF, except for a concert once), and I knew a hotel would cost an arm and a leg, if there were even any rooms available (which was very doubtful). So, later that day Tank said he had talked to his daughter who just recently bought a place in Oakland, and she told him to give me her number so that I could call her if we decided to make the journey that weekend for the parade. So, I text messaged her right away and told her thanks, but that I wasn’t going to make it, and we chatted back and forth for a while, and somewhere in there she offered to be a listener if I needed her for any support in my situation. She is my age, and has been married almost two years to a woman. See, they live in California and a few years ago homosexual marriage was made legal, and it was for a few months until it was voted not legal again, and in the window that they could marry each other they did, and are still seen as married in CA. Anyhoo, it was nice of her to offer to listen.

That night J and I were hanging out at her apartment and I got a text from Tank’s daughter, saying she and the wife discussed it and that J and I were to come up and stay with them in their home and go to Pride and have a blast. She also mentioned that they would be entertaining another person or two, and that as long as we brought an air mattress and didn’t hate dogs we were more than welcome. So, we went.

It was fun, although I saw way too many naked people. We got there Saturday at around 4 pm, and sat around with them on their patio and drank wine and beer, and ate a killer vegan pizza that Tank’s daughter’s wife made. A couple was there, a lady named Wendy McMillian (an actress in a lesbian movie called Go Fish from the 90s), and her girlfriend, and they were wonderful. See, I think gay people intimidate me. But all the ladies at Tank’s daughter’s house were great. Really great.

So, we went to The City that evening, around 7. There was a dyke march, and we jumped in and walked to the Castro District. It was a nice night, and after hanging out on the streets for a while we decided to go to a bar. A bar that google describes as, “The Lexington Club: Your Friendly Neighborhood Dyke Bar” It was fabulous! There were hot girls EVERYWHERE. Butches left and right. It was insane. J and I felt like awkward foreigners (at least, I did), not able to believe that places like this exist. A hot girl offered to let me feel her up (?!?). Anyway, it was an experience.




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm sorry

I don't really know what to say. Thanks for the emails to those of you that wrote to make sure I'm alive.

I am in a funk I guess.  I've been busy at work, lots of co-workers have been vacationing so the few of us that haven't taken off are picking up the slack.

My family relationships (or lack thereof) have been getting to me more than usual.  My sister (the one that watches Clem) asked me not to come to her baby's dedication at church a few weeks back, and while I understand her perspective (she doesn't want me to have any spiritual influence on her daughters), it hurts quite a bit.  We had a good talk that day, I listened to her concerns and didn't argue, and I tried really hard not to cry in front of her, but it didn't work.  I tear up even just typing about it.

My ex has moved away.  For now Clem spends one week with me and one with him and we are switching off like that all summer.  She is with him this week, and I miss her terribly at times. I took her to her dad's on father's day, and drove back home in time to have dinner at my parents' house.  I felt so out-of-place, but I realize it's a position I've put myself in. I had no child, no partner, and I felt like less of a daughter to my dad because I know how hard the whole process of me breaking up with my spouse and then dating someone of the same sex has been on him, and I wonder if I'm ever going to feel like his girl again. I am terrified.

I don't mean to make this a total downer post, I have been having fun, I just feel like I am starting to adjust and sometimes it gets overwhelming.  I'm one of those people that hopes.  I hope a lot.  I expect a lot too. I find myself expecting the things I have hoped, and that's where I find trouble.  I had hopes for my relationship with J in regards to my family. I still do, and I think it's those expectations that tend to get me down. I want them to see what I see, you know? I want them to understand. And I know they aren't the ones to blame, and I try so hard to tell myself that they only want what's best for me, and being with J isn't what they believe is best, but I just feel so alone without them sometimes, and it has been hard.

So, thanks for listening. I promise another post (about sewing mouths shut) soon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

You'd think this job would have been strange a while ago

Last week I had a slightly busy schedule, it seemed like all the families I met with wanted to have full services (which is great) and they were all a little odd.  For example, I was meeting with a man whose grandson had died, and we had also done the services for his son 10 years prior. Parts of the arrangement went like this:
Me: (getting info for the death certificate) Sir, what was your grandson's father's name?
Grandpa: Well, you did his services 10 years ago
Me: *blink, blink* Um, okay, sir. *Pause while fighting the urge to say*: I will go down into the Great Underground Vault of All Past Services and pick out a nice case from 10 years back and we'll just use *that* name.
Me: I would be happy to go look up his information, but I would need his name to do that.
G: Well, I can *tell* you his name if that's all you need.
Me: *blink, blink*
*** Later that same arrangement ***
Me: Now, I need to go over some of the members' names of your grandson's family for the register book and the clergy record we provide. You said he has four children, can I get their names?
G: No.
Me: *blink* *long pause of awkward silence* Okay.

So, yeah, it was odd.

His grandson had been in an accident. Now, I know I've sung my own restorative art praises left and right, but I have to admit with this guy: there was NO bringing him back to view-ability. He didn't even look human any longer.  He was in a million pieces, and even though the gross stuff doesn't seem to affect me, this one did. I have dreamt about him a couple of times.  I'm telling you, guys, he didn't even really have a head.  No skull, just a few bones. No skin, no eyes, no mouth (a few teeth though), no ears, hardly any hair, he was destroyed. The Medical Examiner couldn't even find all of his pieces.  There are surely still pieces of him lying around town where the accident was. There has to be.

Anyway, I was glad he wasn't going to be viewed.  I was glad to not have to tell his family that I wasn't going to be able to make him look like himself. I've never had to do that, and I didn't want to start yet.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I tried to make it less wordy with the photos

Mother's Day was a bit different this year.

On Saturday I dropped Clem off at her dad's, they were going to take a trip to see his parents for the night and come back Sunday afternoon so I could have her for Mother's Day dinner at my moms. She arrived at my mom's around 3, and to my surprise her dad had bought a card for her to give me. She had written "mommy" (see photo) and even signed her name inside, getting quite good for a three-year-old, if I do say so myself.


She was excited to be at my parent's house, and told everyone "Happy Mother's Day" when they started arriving. My sister's oldest daughter woke up from her nap shortly after Clem got there, and they played outside while my sisters and I cooked dinner. We had decided to make pasta with three different sauces, and mine turned out really well.  It's a sauce that I invented years and years ago, and just to be nice I'll share it with you here.  Keep in mind that I don't like tomatoes, so when I say you'll like this pasta even if you don't like tomatoes, I am telling the truth. Also, I was making enough for a lot of people, so, you might want to cut the recipe in half.  I made two batches of it, as my sisters thought we might need more, and even with just half of the half I was making at a time, it's enough for a few people. Also, I should mention that it is quite garlic-y.

Start with some olive oil in a frying pan, not much, and it needs to be a bit hot.  Add four gloves of garlic, finely minced, and stir until it gets crispy (but not charred). It will start to stick together.
Turn the heat way down and wait a minute before adding about three-quarters cup of a dry white wine (I use pinot grigio because that's the one I always have) and turn the heat back up to simmer the alcohol out of the wine and get the garlic flavor into the liquid.  Keep stirring.
After that has cooked a while I added a half can of stewed tomatoes, finely chopped, along with the juice in the can.  I know, to tomato people it sounds gross to not use fresh ones (which I'm sure can be substituted here), and to non-tomato people it sounds gross because they're (disgusting) tomatoes, but I promise, they're yummy.  Stir and keep cooking for a while (like 5 minutes) and add salt and pepper to taste.
I know, it kind of looks like vomit, but it really is good.  The last thing to do is add a little bit of butter, like a tablespoon, and stir it up really well.  It's a very runny sauce, and it works very well for dipping breadsticks in, and is, by far, my favorite pasta sauce.
So, dinner was very yummy, and dessert was good too, and it was nice to hang out a bit.  Neither of my sisters or I have been talking much lately, since the whole "leaving the hubby for another woman" thing, but yesterday seemed a bit better than it has. Clem was quite a good girl, and my mom asked me if I thought she would want to stay the night at her house last night.  I feel like she used to stay there a lot, and lately she doesn't get to as much, whether it's because she stays with her dad half the time, or that I just like having her at home with me, or some other reason I haven't even thought of, I don't know, but when I asked Clem if she wanted to she was excited and said yes.  As soon as the middle sister heard what was going on I heard her say to my mom (with her voice full of disgust), "On mothers day???" and I immediately wanted to leave.  I mean, I get it that I'm making the wrong choices in her mind. I get it that she thinks only awful mothers would let their daughter stay the night at their grandparents' house on this holiest day of a mother's year. I get it that she wants mom to know she thinks I'm making the wrong choices. But I wish that she could get a few things from my perspective. I wish she knew how it felt to be a single parent when you're married. Does she understand what that's like? To feel like the only one taking care of an infant? To feel like it's a fight to the death to keep sane and breastfeed and change all the diapers and make dinner and clean the house and get thin and bring the baby to see the family, etc. She can't possibly. She's married to Mr. Mom. He does it all. Laundry, diapers, feedings, work, love, time, all of it.  Does she know what it's like to feel like you aren't a priority? Or that you're in the way? Or that you're an embarrassment? How could she? And really, I sound like a bitch and I don't mean to (completely), because I don't want her to know that. I want her to have it the way she does. But I want her to see that it wasn't that way for me. I want her to see that I didn't leave a perfect and happy home.  I didn't leave so that I could be happy, I left so that I could just not me miserable, and stop feeling like I've failed at getting love.  And it's hard for me. And terrifying. And I know that I sound like I am completely ungrateful of my ex and think he did it all wrong, and that's not entirely the truth. He had a good job, and I didn't have to worry about money. I had all of the "things" I wanted, but he was missing what I needed.  I needed help, and I needed attention, and I needed love, and I needed time.

I was thinking last night at the Mother's Day dinner table how I used to want kids.  I wanted a few of them.  I wanted them right away when I married, but we waited. I wasn't one of those people that loves children, but I knew I would love my own, and I wanted them so badly.  Then I had Clem and it all changed. I was depressed. I was tired. I was sad. Every morning until she was five months old and I finally called my aunt to tell her I just wanted to die and she had me go down right then and get on some meds I would think to myself, "this is the end of my life, I won't make it through this" and I knew, kids aren't for me.  I didn't think I'd even make it to see Clem enter kindergarten, let alone ever want to have another one of these things that just take. so. much. work. I was done. The mother I wanted to be for so long was like a fairy tale. I didn't even mourn her loss.

So, now I sit here at my work computer, and I feel like complete crap about my sister and how judged I feel, and I just think, I gave up wanting more children because of the support I didn't receive from my ex, what am I going to have to give up because of my family? I don't know if I think it's hopeless to believe they will ever accept me being with a woman, and I'm trying to not dwell on that, but I just wish I could tell them how hard it is for me. And sometimes I wonder how I am supposed to get through it without them.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day week

I have a good friend that I met at the church I no longer attend whom I love to bits. She’s a great gal, always smiles and laughter, and we get along well. We haven’t even been those types of hang-out-all-the-time friends, but I consider her one of my best girls. I can tell her anything, which right about now is something I treasure.

My mom invited me over for dinner on Sunday, and she also invited this friend of mine (my mom adores her) and it was great to see her. We chatted a bit and laughed a ton, and she asked how everything is going with J, and it was great.

Monday, while I was getting lunch, she came by the office and gave a bag to Monica with specific instructions to only give me what’s inside when instructed to do so (she knows me well enough to know that I’ll just open all of whatever is in there at once), and after Monica explained that to me she pulled out a package that read “Day 1” on the card. I read the card, and it explained that this is mother’s day week, and that I get a gift each day. The card also had a Bible verse on it and said she loves me and thinks I’m a great mom.

So far:
Day 1: atomic fireballs
Day 2: Mad Libs (with instructions to share with Monica)
Day 3: Reese’s Pieces
Day 4: Lemon Drops (my favorite)

Anyway, isn’t that awesome?!?!?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I will follow you into the dark

I got a call back in February from a pastor in a town not far from the city I live in asking for prices on a cremation, and asking for some details on how the whole process works. She told me that she was calling on behalf of one of the members of her church whose partner was being put on hospice care, dying of cancer. I gave her prices and some information, and asked her if I could be a bit nosy, and she told me yes, so I asked a bit about the “partnership” and what she meant by that. She told me that the women had been together for years (like 30 or more) and that they (obviously) weren’t married, but that they were each other’s legal next-of-kin, and also gave me cute little details about their relationship. So, I explained that I would need a copy of the documentation of that (which is odd, married couples don’t have to bring in their proof of marriage to show that they are, in fact, the legal next-of-kin), and that I could email all the forms to her to sign and fax back to me, and she said that would be great.

The forms were all sent back to me the next day, and we have kept them on file so that when the woman dies we will have everything we need. I didn’t end up talking with the partner making the arrangements ever, just the pastor, who was very kind.

The woman died yesterday. Big Bird gave me the file so that I could call the partner and touch base with her and make sure that the way everything had been set up back in February was the way it should be. She was very soft spoken, and quite calm, and I immediately liked her. I asked her if she had any questions about anything and she didn’t, and we went over some of the information I had in the file, and a couple of times she got a bit choked up, and I could hear the strain in her voice, trying not to cry.

I felt so badly for her, like I was feeling just a small part of the heartache she was feeling. I never feel like I want to hug people I make arrangements for (well, almost never), and I just wanted to hug her. I wanted to tell her that it’s okay to cry, and that I’m so sorry she lost the woman she has loved for most of her life. But I couldn’t, and she isn’t going to ever meet me, as the cremated remains are being shipped to her when the cremation is complete, and I’m disappointed. So, I wrote her a letter:

Dear *lady*
I want to express my condolences on the loss of your love. I know it might seem insincere to receive a letter like this from a funeral home employee, but I am truly sorry for her death, and I wanted to let you know that you have been in my thoughts today. I cannot begin to imagine the hurt that you are feeling, and I hope that you understand that it is okay to feel that way, and it’s also okay to not try to unfeel it.
It was nice to talk with you over the phone, and I hope that if there is anything you need that I can help you with (grief support groups in your area, counselor recommendations, etc.) you will let me know, it would be an honor for me to do that.
Sincerely,
Doll

I’m a bit nervous to send it though.

It’s funny, here this woman has lost her partner, and I can’t help but think she’s the luckiest woman on earth. How many people die without that kind of love? Far too many, I would guess.

Click here to hear the song this post is titled after.

Monday, May 3, 2010

In which I was having a great day until...

Fuk. I'm not going to rant, I'm not going to rant, I'm not going to rant...

I am making arrangements for the interment of a veteran in one of the national cemeteries.  His remains were cremated and the next-of-kin gave me the DD214 (discharge form) so that I could arrange for the free burial that he is entitled to (did you know that all honorably-discharges veterans are entitled to a free grave and marker?), and I faxed it in to the National Cemetery scheduling office this morning.  I waited a while and called them to make sure they would have had time to receive the fax, and talked to a sweet lady that took the deceased's info and scheduled the graveside service with me in about 5 minutes. She took the date that I requested for the service and asked what time:
Service Lady: What time on that date would you like the service?
Me: is 11 available?
SL: Lemme check *clicky sounds on the computer* Um, the closest I have is 12:30.
Me: *notice that Big Bird is standing over my shoulder holding her desk calendar, and turn to look at her*
Big Bird: *whispering* 11 o'clock today? I have an opening for 11:30, not 11!!! *panicking now, but still whispering*
Me: *to the SL on the phone* Please excuse me, I'm being interrupted. *exasperated, to BB* I am on the phone, and this has nothing to do with an appointment here, nor is it for today.
*BB feels like an idiot and walks back into her office to eavesdrop on the rest of the fucking day, and I feel like shit for having been an ass hole*
*to the SL* Sorry about that, did you say 12:30? That's just fine.
etc...

WTF? Why is she so effing anal about the fracking calendar? Why does she think that I am incapable of checking a fucking calendar to see when we have appointments available? Am I really that incompetent? Am I new here? Why am I so angry?

And this is what really sucks: I was in *such* a good mood today! Here are my reasons why (maybe they will help calm me down):
1. I slept well. J and I went to the spa last night before bed, and although it was WAY too hot, I feel quite refreshed.
2. We didn't get too busy at work this weekend, so today has been less hectic than the past few Mondays.
3. I'm not sure why, but my boobs look GREAT today.  Maybe they got perkier overnight, or maybe my vision is failing in my old age, either way, they're adorable.

But, alas, I am sitting here, relaxed and perky, and in a foul effing mood. Somebody, please, cheer me up!

UPDATE:
Part of my good day list is two blogs I've been liking, that I am sharing with you:
Is this thing on?
Late Enough

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A short list

1. I met J's family this past weekend.

See, I'm one of those people that is always at my parent's house (except for lately). A week in which I see my folks once or twice is rare, I usually see them more than that (and seeing as how my television isn't hooked up and it's baseball season I imagine I'll be there quite a bit more). J isn't that way with her family, and I have really had to try to not feel like she's avoiding them so that she wouldn't have to tell them about me, which I don't think was totally the case. They all knew *about* me, but hadn't met me before (with the exception of her brother, whom I've met briefly) and finally, last week, J's grandma text messaged her with a dinner invite (that I believe was along the lines of 'where the heck have you been, we haven't seen you in ages') so, we went.

I was super-nervous, especially for someone that has been bitching about meeting this family of hers, and wanted to just not go, but I went anyway.  Dinner was at her grandma's house, and we got there and J introduced me to her (and she hugged me?!?!), and then introduced me to her mom as well. The four of us ate dinner, the three of them held most of the conversation, until the inevitable, "So, Doll, what do you do?" from her grandma.  So, even though I wanted to lie and just tell them I was a teacher or something, I was honest and said I was a mortician, and grandma kinda freaked out.  Not super-freaked, but freaked a little.  Luckily though, when people freak out about it (as most people do), they don't have a bunch of questions (not that I don't LOVE the questions, but at dinner the first time I meet my girlfriend's family, I'drathernot,thankyou). So, the subject was quickly changed and dinner was finished.  J's brother showed up a bit later, as did her dad (she, her mother and I were now playing Uno), and sat to eat dinner with us while we played.  They were all quite nice (grandma went to watch Jeopardy so as not to annoy J with her questions all night) and the evening went well. J looks like her dad. And her mom added me as a friend on facebook.

2. I slept super-well last night, and today I feel quite a bit more refreshed than I have in a while.  It's great.

3. I'm wearing some 5 inch heels today.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Mourners, party of 3...

I know I've mentioned before that some people decide to pre-plan their funeral services, and that it insures that their wishes are followed after they die.  Well, we had a death this week for a woman who had done just that, and pre-planned a funeral service in the chapel, followed by burial in a cemetery here.  She picked out everything, and prepaid for it all, so when she died we got started arranging for everything and found out she has no family.  Apparently the state (or county or whatever) appointed a public guardian to her to help take care of her (find a nursing home, figure out medical care, take care of finances, etc.) since her husband died 20 years ago and she had no other family.  Normally in that sort of case the public guardian will just have the remains cremated and then buried somewhere, using any funds that the deceased has left, but in her case it was all taken care of, so the guardian let us take care of it all.

Anyway, we knew no one was going to come to the service. It seems sad to think that, and I suppose it is, but all of us were kind of excited that we would get to be the attendees for the service.  Our very own Buck was the officiate, and Monica, Tank and I sat in the first pew of the chapel.  Boss sat in the back (he was the only one that knew the deceased at all), and Big Bird popped her head in a few times.  The service lasted about 25 minutes, and at the end Buck and Buffy sang Amazing Grace a cappella, and it was beautiful.  We were all given a chance to say a few words about the woman that had died, and although we didn't know her we said what was on out hearts.  It was really a wonderful service, and a great end to my week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Staring out the window...

I blogged a while back about that guy making his own funeral arrangements because he was dying, remember? Well, he isn’t dead yet. Actually, I’ve wanted to post about him not being dead yet but have thought that I didn’t want to jinx him by doing so (I’m a bit terrified that I am going to come into work tomorrow and he will have died). Anyway, in true me fashion, I’m going to blog about *my* feelings and *my* thoughts about this man, instead of blogging about what his immanent death might be doing to *his* thoughts and feelings, as I don’t know him, nor do I think it would be appropriate to ask him if I did.

The hospital he told me he’d be at is just up the street. I can see it through the window here at my desk. It’s the hospital where I was born, and it is the hospital in which many people die, including, at some future date, my pre-arrangement leukemia man. In the post I mentioned wanting to visit him in the hospital, he was supposed to check himself in sometime in early February, and I still want to. I don’t think I want to talk to him, just maybe go poke my head in while he’s asleep, or ask a nurse if there’s anything I can get him that he might need (maybe some delicious French fries, I know that I’d want some if I were stuck, dying in a hospital), just so I can see him alive again. I’m not sure why, but I just don’t want the next time I see him to be when he’s dead. I want to know when his daughter turns 18. What if he doesn’t make it (he didn’t think he would)? What if he does? How will I know? I have instructions to not call her when he dies, a friend of his will tell her, so I don’t have a way of knowing. Why does it bother me so much? Argh. I’m so confused…

Monday, April 19, 2010

Death becomes me

I like wearing skirts. I even like wearing dresses. Actually, i love both, and most of the summer I am in dresses instead of pants (never shorts, those are awful). The thing is though, being required to not wear pants at work has made me re-think my dress-loving sense of style.  Weird, yes. Where am I going with this? I'll tell you.

I have been bitching a bit lately about this "no pants at work" policy (gotta love old-fashioned managers), and I've come to realize that it isn't the requirement to wear skirt suits, but the requirement to wear pantyhose that goes along with it. They really are awful things, and I'm starting to really hate summer because of them (christ almighty, they're warm).  And through all my complaining I forgot something: I look good in my skirt suits.

See, i was out to lunch a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday, and i ran into a guy I recognized from a funeral (I had been the director for his mother's service about a year ago, and his dad's about 5 months ago). I went up to him and said hi, he was with a friend of his and introduced me, and he gave me a hug and kiss.  He told me I look different, but good, in my normal clothes (jeans and a long sleeve shirt), and turned to his buddy and said "you should see this woman in one of her suits. With looks like that not one of us could pay attention to the first ten minutes of Mass." I was flattered, and I told him thanks, and he gave me his business card, telling me I should call him if I ever needed anything.

So, it turns out the skirt suits aren't that bad, I mean, at least I look decent...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I would LOL but it would interfere with the pouting

Monica got flowers.

I am totally jealous.

See, I'm not really the type that gives a shit about getting flowers (well, not that much of a shit anyway), and I'm definitely not jealous of getting red roses (yep, Monica got red. fucking. roses.), as I'm not a rose person, but she got them from a family she did the services for, and that makes me jealous.  I couldn't have cared less if they had been from her man (cuz he's totally unworthy of her, and all other women), but from a family? Because they were grateful? And with a card that reads "Thanks for the wonderful job you did???" You would be jealous, too. I deserve flowers, damn it. I'm a fucking charming embalmer. People love me...don't they??

So, here I sit flowerless and jealous. Maybe I'll steal them...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Doll, if anyone asks, nothing happened last night

The title of this post was the first thing the boss said to me this morning when I saw him at work, and without knowing what it was I did last night, it sounds pretty juicy...

Yesterday, by the end of the day we had 9 new cases.  I already had two families scheduled to come in today, one at 10 and one at 1130.  Pretty close together, and I was feeling a bit of pressure knowing how hectic today would be, not counting whatever cases died overnight.  Anyway, the boss comes in yesterday around 430:

Boss: Doll! It's been a long day! Boys night out tonight. After work. (Lists the guys that are gonna be there)
Me: *laughs* I'm one of the boys??
Boss: Yes, Doll, one of the guys in particular made sure you were notified.
Me: Is your Sugar Lips gonna be there?
Boss: Definitely not. No girls allowed. And no telling the women, Doll. It's a secret boys night. We're going to that new beer spot in town.
Me: *confused* But I'm not a boy. I don't even look like a boy. *starting to panic* BOSS! DO I LOOK LIKE A BOY???
Boss: *chuckle* You don't look like a boy. *another chuckle* But the boys think you are one of us, you are more vulgar than we are, so you're an honorary boy. And you can hold your beer. We like that.
Me: *slightly embarrassed* That's sweet boss.  I have Clem tonight though.
Boss: You need a night out, kiddo. Bring her with you.
Me: What about J? It sounds like girlfriends are forbidden from this boys night out.
Boss: She's good to go. The old guys want to meet her anyway.
Me: So lemme get this straight, Boss. You are having a boys night out at a pub and you are inviting me, my daughter, and my girlfriend?
Boss:*laughing* You coming or not, Doll?
Me: We'll be there... Wait! are the Giants gonna be on???
Boss: You're too much, kiddo.

So, we went out and had a great time.  And apparently so did the boys.

And I'm super swamped. The family I met with at 10 lasted til 12, so Monica had to meet with the 1130 which sucks because she had just come in from a funeral Mass about 10 minutes prior, and as I was finishing up with the 10 o'clock we got a new case that was supposed to be here at 2 and still hasn't called or showed up.  Jane is pissed because I am busy with four hundred pounds of paperwork and families that don't show up, so I cant work in the prep room and she's got more bodies than she can handle in an 8 hour work day.

Fuck. At least I got to have a couple of beers last night.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why don't you ever blog about your girlfriend? ;o)

I guess because I feel like the blog readers want to hear about funeral stuff, not personal stuff. But if you want to hear about her, I am more than happy to fill up a post with information about her. And I don't have any funeral-related questions in this question-grabber, so...

She's young. Five years younger than I am. She is breathtaking. She has short brown hair and eyes the color of dark honey. She has freckles all over. Her smile is contagious and she laughs freely. She takes hours getting ready before we go somewhere, but is the most beautiful when she wakes up in the morning. She's a great dancer. She has a perfect heart and a beautiful soul. She is strong and soft and smart and caring and beautiful.

We have fun together and it makes me wonder how come I had to miss out on this kind of thing for so long. And then I laugh at myself, thinking, "if I had met her when I was 20 she would have been 15" and it kinda grosses me out, LoL. We have an amazing friendship, one like no other I have had. Doing nothing with her feels like having it all.

Sometimes her love overwhelms me to the point of tears. I've never felt more at peace.

How did you meet the person you had an affair with? Male or Female? And how did your husband find out? Duration?

Okay, so I've been wondering how much detail I should go into about this one, and I figure I don't *actually* know most of the readers of my blog, so I might as well tell you guys everything.

I met her at church. She's the girl I've blogged about before. It's kind of strange, the whole situation, I mean, she's a girl which is a bit different, and I met her at church, which isn't really the best place to meet someone that you end up having an affair with, etc.

The hubby found out because the girl I was having the affair with told someone at church, and that person told the pastor, who eventually told my husband. I know I probably should have been the one to tell him, but I couldn't. I tried a few times before anyone even found out (although I am sure he knew anyway), and just couldn't bring myself to say it. I was a total chicken about it, partly because I was scared of what he would say/do (not that I think he would have hit me or something like that, but I knew he would make me leave and I didn't want to leave my daughter), and partly because for as much as I wanted out of the relationship, I still cared and didn't want to hurt him. Anyway, it was a bit of a mess for a while, as you know I lived with my parents and he and I aren't together any longer.

I haven't known her for long, but she and I are still together. We are having a blast, and I feel lucky, you know? I feel loved.

Every now and then it's hard though, my relationship with my family is strained, and I recognize it's my fault. My daughter stays with me in my new place every other night, and she seems to be doing okay. It's especially hard when she asks why I don't love her daddy any more, and I try to tell her that I do love him, I just don't want to live with him. How do you tell that to a child? I wonder if I've screwed up everything for her future. But I also wondered that when I was with her dad. I mean, I don't want to model a mediocre marriage to her, but I also don't want her to have this broken home.

It's also hard because J (my girlfriend) and I have left our church. This is the church that I have considered "home" since I was 14. A lot of the people there I have known since I was a child. J had been going there for about 2 years, and her best friend is no longer talking to her. We've gone to another church a few times, but they aren't accepting of our lifestyle any more than our old church, so we know we can't stay there either.

Anyway, that's the story.

Friday, April 2, 2010

There's always one...

So, I'm live blogging a funeral right now. It's in our chapel, and we are heading out to the cemetery in a bit.  Tank and Opie and I are all working this service, and they are funny about certian things, one of which is women. Particularly women at funerals.

See, there's this rule about funerals: there is always one, some woman, at every service, that is a little too cute and a lot too sexy to be at a funeral. Don't get me wrong, it's quite amusing (Tank goes a bit ape-shit), but it's also a little embarassing as well. I mean, you kinda can't help but stare, and we (the funeral staff) always tell each other who to look for. Like with this gal (whom i thought was about 17 until i found out how old she really was), as soon as she came in Tank comes up to me and says. "Foyer, green top, black skirt and HEELS!" So I go out there and yep, she's a little hottie, and i immediately feel a bit dirty and tell Tank he's in trouble, what with how young she is.  And to make matters worse she had this flirty "yeah, I know I'm trouble" look on her face.

So, i end up being the one to take the family to the cemetery in the limo, and she sat in the center seat of the back row, right in my line of vision in the rear view mirror.  She was kinda making me nervous, and it was hard to look in the rear view without thinking that she would think I was staring at her, so I would quickly look away. It was all a bit amusing (and very embarrassing) and I was glad to be out of the car when we got to the graveside.

On the way back it was the same, but she was talkative, and I swear she winked at me in the mirror. Wtf, right? Anyway, i laughed this nervous laugh, and looked away and didn't look again the rest of the trip.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Best. Saturday. Ever.



What a lazy day.  Having a great time, beer, guacamole, and the people I love. Doesn't get any better, folks.