Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recap of the decap...

(that was too cute of a title not to use)

So, a while back a guy was in a car accident and was decapitated.  Now, in mortuary school you learn how to repair a decapitation in theory.  The problem with that is though, that while you learn how to embalm a head an body separately, position the head properly, stitch it back on to the body, and cosmetize over the whole mess, it's a bit different in practice.  See, what they don't teach you is how to not freak the fuck out when you are standing there looking at a head that has been severed from a body.  It is very odd, and a bit nauseating.  This guy's head was just off to the side of the embalming table, and it was like my mind was trying to make sense of it, even though I know that he had been decapitated.

He ended up looking great, which in a way sucks ("Look, guys, it doesn't look like he died a tragic, painful, unnecessary death because he drank WAY too much and decided to drive home"), but in a way is nice.  the stitching up took the most time (doesn't it always), followed closely by the cosmetizing afterward.

Another strange thing: I didn't take off the wristband that the bar had given him that night.  It had the name of the club on it, and made it through the accident without a scratch.

10 comments:

Miss Anne said...

like woah!
THAT would scare the bejeesus outta me!
nice work making it look fabu!

Ivan Toblog said...

It really is too bad that some folks who indulge in libations can't be shown the corpse with its parts separated.
Good show leaving the wristband on. What it out where everyone could see it?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it difficult to have to touch said severed head and put it back whee it belonged?

Doll Face said...

Miss Anne- Thanks!

IT - It wasn't seen unless the family moved the shirt sleeves during the viewing.

Anon - It really wasn't difficult, other than being a bit physically challenging to get the head to stay where I wanted while I stitched. But it was definitely odd to have this head just sitting there.

MattOnFire said...

I think that's kinda funny that you left the wristband on. Do you normally leave stuff like that on a body, like a ankle bracelet or a toe ring or something? What if somebody had their wiener pierced? Do you leave that in?
I guess, in some strange way, the bar bracelet is kind of an eternal reminder of why he died.
Also, isn't it odd to have to reattach a head? Don't most families opt for a closed casket when something as damaging as a decapitation happens? If it is a closed casket, do you still have to reattach the head?

Doll Face said...

Matt! Look at you with your questions! I normally take off things like hospital ID tags and stuff, but jewelry (if it's left on them when they come to us) I leave alone. I figure if the deceased ALWAYS wore something (like a wedding ring) I don't want to take it off of them. Can you imagine?

With all the wiener piercings I just leave them in, mostly because I don't like touching weenies.

And yes, it's odd to reattach a head. And I don't know if the family understood the extent of the damage. Whatever, it always seems like the decaps want to be seen. My middle sister had a boyfriend that was almost totally decapitated in a motorcycle accident and he was viewed. And now that I am remembering, we knew his head needed to be reattached and we didn't care. If he hadn't been in Canada I would have gone to see him. And, yes, I would have reattached his head even if he wasn't viewed. It would have been odd to leave it, right?

Miss Anne said...

i.love.this.blog. :)

Jenn said...

what is the proper way of moving a severed head? Do you grab it by the hair, or by the ears; two hands, I would assume. Or do you just roll it into place. Were the eyes open?? Arrgg...so many questions.

Doll Face said...

Okay, Jenn, let's get you an answer or two:

I use two hands, one on either side of the face/ear area. I have not yet attempted to roll it.

Yes, the eyes were open, until I closed them.

AnUndertaker'sDiaries said...

bah ha ha...recap of the decap....rofl....I can't take it anymore.....