Funeral home anecdotes are heaven. Obscure, absurd, deeply honest heaven. The title of this post, for example, is referencing pain-in-the-ass urns. Stone angels. Metal stags. Eagles in flight that somehow need to get filled with ash, upside down, through a nickel-sized hole. Best of luck if you’re not Dwayne Johnson.
I am struck (and moved) by the laughter I encounter at work every day. Not at the expense of our families, of course. But as a result of the hyper-specific weirdness of what we do.
I’m listing some of my favorite one-liners because:
Funeral homes are in fact not creepy.
It brings me so much joy imagining my loved ones amidst belly laughs when they are one day laid to rest.
Here we go.
You’re fig-leafing so hard.
The term “fig-leafing” is given to the reverent (yet groin-centric) hand placement funeral directors assume while supervising a service. Hand over wrist over pubis.
We’re gonna need a bigger Guadalupe.
It is customary to have a Lady of Guadalupe (virgin Mary) statue beside the casket at hispanic funeral services – and subtlety does not apply.
You can’t escape an ass grab when you raise an axillary.
The axillary artery, located in the underarm, is sometimes injected while embalming to distribute fluid to the hands. In order to get up in there, the deceased’s arm wraps around the embalmer’s hip. It’s tough to avoid that wayward hand cupping your tush. So I just assume it’s what the late Fred would have wanted.
Purple Jesus will bring them back.
“Purple Jesus” is the pet name given to Dodge® Introfiant, a strong arterial fluid for embalmings that are particularly difficult (e.g. a body that is decomposing at a rapid rate). The levity takes the ever-loving terror out of challenging cases. Embalming is hard.
Let’s hope the family loves cubism.
This is the response I was given after panicking about setting features wrong and in turn Picasso-ing someone’s face. (He turned out fine.)
We don’t need Grandma looking stacked.
Yes, we put bras on the deceased. We do this for basic dignity/per the family’s request BUT ALSO it’s helpful for adding a little shape to fill out clothing. Like a blazer that has become too large on a body that’s deteriorated after cancer treatment. And sometimes funeral directors get overzealous with stuffing.
Are you not endeared?! Is the death care process not entirely more lovable now?! The more we normalize dying, the more we engage living.