1. First the body is transferred
When someone dies, the body has to be transferred to the morticians. For example if the person was at hospital or a nursing home then body is driven to an morticians. But if the circumstances are not as clear then first the body has to be taken to the coroners before entering the morticians to discern how they died.Sourced from Femanin.
2. They check the body for any disease
One of the first steps after retrieving the body is to check it for anything in particular. This could be anything from a pace maker to whether the body has a disease, or whether any fluids are coming from the body. This is because depending on the body, it will have to be treated in a different way.
3. They place the body onto a tray and wheel it into the fridge
After assessing the body, it is then loaded onto a mortuary tray which can be metal or plastic, with wheels so that it can be easily transferred into the fridge. Then, the body is placed straight into the fridge as soon as possible so that it stops it from decomposing quickly.
4. The body is elevated to stop 'purging'
The head is placed higher than the rest of the body to avoid what is called in the mortician process as 'purging'. Purging refers to "leakage" from the mouth or the nose. The fluids that leak out can be for example, from blood or bile and so this is avoided where possible.
5. They remove the clothes
The clothes on the body of course have to be removed, which of course can take some work depending on how the person was dressed when they sadly died. Their clothes are carefully stored away and then they re-dress the body with a gown resembling those from hospital.
6. Then the body is cleaned
Of course another essential step is that the body is cleaned. This varies for each person depending on the state of the body. In most cases it does not require much of a cleaning process, but some bodies are more 'messy' and so the cleaning has to be more thorough.
7. Underwear is the first thing to be put on
The first item of clothing to be put on is the underwear, to make sure the body is covered. Bodies are covered as soon as possible with underwear to protect the dignity and respect of the person who is deceased and also for the sake of the mortician too.
8. They place eye caps in the eyes
When someone dies, the eyes naturally sink in leaving noticeable dents in the face. And so "eye caps" are place inside the eye to prevent this. These are just small little flesh coloured disks which are inserted underneath the eye lids. They have tiny spikes on the outer side in order to hold the eyes closed.
9. Once in the coffin makeup is applied
This also depends on the situation. But, a little bit of makeup is often applied so that the person looks more like themselves and to add some colour back into the face. This is done mainly for the sake of the grieving family who may want to visit the body.
10. The nose and mouth are plugged
Because fluids naturally secrete from the nose and mouth, they are essentially plugged. This is done by taking cotton wadding and placing it down the throat as well as up the nose in order to prevent leakage so that the body can be preserved properly.
11. The mouth is tied shut
This point sounds a little bit strange and it is an idea that can sound shocking to those who are not inside the secrets of he mortician process. But it is delicately done by taking a needle and inserting i inside the throat first. Then the mouth is effectively sealed shut so that it cannot drop open.
12. The body is embalmed
The process of embalming the body varies massively as there are different kinds of embalming which involve different processes. But essentially, preservation fluids are put inside the body as well as colourants. This preserves the body and also makes it look a lot more normal again.
13. With full embalming all organs are removed
Full embalming is a much bigger and more complex process. Each and every one of the organs are removed (even including the brains), then they are scattered with a preserving powder and then everything is placed back inside the body in correct placement.
14. Sometimes nappies are applied
If the body looks in any danger of leaking, they the mortician will apply some kind of nappy to collect any fluid and prevent the body from leaking out. The mortician tries to prevent the body from leaking any fluid. And so if the body looks as though it may lose fluid in this way, a nappy is put on.
15. Embalming can take hours to days
As we mention previously, there are many typed of embalming and the different kinds take different amounts of time. For example some embalming takes a few hours but some can take up to a couple of days for the process to be finished.
16. Most of the job is dealing with the living
Again, there are a lot of misconceptions about being an mortician. One of these is that the mortician is constantly around death. But actually the majority of time according to morticians themselves, is amongst the living - the families of the deceased.
17. Larger bodies are harder to deal with
According to morticians, it is harder dealing with larger bodies - the larger it is the more difficult according to some. This is throughout the entire process from carrying the body from place to place, undressing and embalming. Because each step requires more work and takes more time.
18. Moriticians get used to the smell of decomposition
One mortician had revealed that the smell of decomposition is string, but the best thing to do is not to shy away from the smell or to mask it with another. He claimed that the best thing to do is take two big inhales, after that you adjust and get used to it.
19. The body turns green
Morticians have revealed this dark secret about the realities of dealing with bodies. It is true that bodies do turn green eventually. The process of turning green always starts first around the stomach area, and then spreads to other parts of the body.
20. You don't need qualifications
It may sound strange because dealing with deceased bodies is a job very few have the capacity for. You would naturally think that it may require a lot of special qualifications. However that is no the case, you do not technically need qualifications to become an mortician.
21. Bodies are room temperature
There is a common assumption that bodies are cold. This is because a living bod is warm and so in comparison a body is cold. But, it is actually just room temperature. However of course when it is kept in a fridge the body is cold to touch.
23. Not all bodies have rigor-mortis
Rigor-mortis refers to a state when the limbs of a deceased body start to stiffen. It makes the body look and feel rigid and the body stays in the same position when moved. It does not happen to all bodies - even the majority - but with some it does occur.
24. Rigor mortis can be 'broken'
But, even when bodies do have rigor-mortis it is easily stopped it does not mean it is permament. This happens by the mortician bending and moving the joints about for a while. The body then comes out its state rigor-mortis so that it then becomes more moveable again.
25. Being a mortician can be very messy
This again is very dependent. Because a lot of the time, the body will not be messy and the job is not messy at all.Sometimes in certain cases there is a lot of mess, which is sometimes inevitable. But, the morticians are geared up in protective clothing.
26. There is a lot of paperwork
Of course when having such a sensitive job there comes a lot of paperwork. Their records have to show the name of the deceased and their date of death as well as their age at the time of death. Also the place the body was transferred from and the date this happened. Also,, who was responsible for the transfer along with any valuables attached to the person.
27. bodies are kept at 3 and 5 degrees celsius
There is a very precise temperature that you can keep bodies at. This is between 3 and 5 degrees celsius. So the fridges are set between this temperature. Any lower and the body would start to freeze. Any higher and the body would start to decay and decompose more rapidly.
28. They form funghi if kept in the fridge too long
Morticians have revealed this secret.If you leave a body in a fridge too long, a certain fungi will grow on it. The fungus is either orange or white and not found anywhere else other than a body when it is in those conditions. Out of the fridge, the fungus does not appear.
29. It is not a 'morbid' job
It has a very morbid reputation, and it is certainly understandable why people assume that it must be a very depressing job to have. But, according to morticians they clarify that it is not in fact a morbid job. Some even go as far to say it is just the same as any normal job.
30. Trying to avoid the smell makes it worse
Morticians have claimed that the more you try and avoid the smell - the worse it us.These tricks such as playing some toothpaste under your nostrils or trying not to breathe much actually only make the smell last longer than if you just don't try at all.
31. They Use Normal Minivans
There is a misconception that bodies are collected and transported using a hearse. But these are rarely used, these are mainly for ceremonial purposes alone. So actually it is usually just ordinary mini van so that t is not obvious to the rest of the world what is happening.
32. Setting The Expression Is One Of The Most Important Things
To a grieving family, some comfort comes by looking at the peaceful expression on the face of their deceased loved one. But this takes a lot of work. The features have to be set in place it does not happen naturally which most people tend to assume...
33. Sometimes Superglue Is Used
This is a horrifying thought, to think of superglue being used on a body. But according to Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
, mortician Caitlin Doughty reveals: “If the usual methods of setting the features aren’t sufficient to keep the eyes closed or the mouth shut, superglue is a secret weapon.”
34. Or A Hair Tie...
Mortician Amy Cunningham revealed in an interview another method of achieving the expected look: “If you need to keep a deceased person’s hands folded neatly at their abdomen, but their arms keep falling down into the sides of the casket, you can gently bind their thumbs with a ponytail tie.”
35. Protective Caskets Aren't A Great Idea
Protective caskets are sold under the guise of protecting the body from any outside factors, for example any of the outside penetrating in such as the earth or insects. But actually, it makes the inside a breeding ground for bacteria and encourages the inside to rot away.
36. Sometimes Caskets Explode
Sometimes caskets explode. This is because of the buildup of methane gas can cause what people in the industry call “exploding casket syndrome”. The gas builds up util the pressure reaches a point where the gas will literally make the casket explode open. And so they have to be unsealed regularly.
37. Pace Makers Can Also Explode
Pace makers can cause damage to the cremation machine because of the batteries inside of them. This is why it is so important for the undertaker to make sure the remove them in the first instance so that they are not still present during the cremation.
38. They Use Rose Coloured Lighting
Morticians use rose coloured lighting to give the appearance of pinky rosy flesh, rather than grey. Which of course is partially achieved by the staining of the flesh but sometime it is not enough and so the rosy coloured lighting helps to create this illusions too.
39. One Embalming Can Generate 120 Gallons Of Waste
It sounds like a shocking statistic but around 120 gallons of waste are produced from an embalming. These include things such as blood, fecal matter, and the contents of the internal organs, as well as any chemicals that have been added which have been released from the body.
40. Everything Goes Down The Drain
What is even perhaps more shocking that realising just how much waste is produced from one embalming, is realising that it goes straight down the drain.And no, not a hazardous waste drain just the usual drain which we use daily. It is an uncomfortable thought.
41. Embalmers Are Exposed To Dangerous Chemicals
Morticians and those ding the embalming are actually at health risks because of the dangerous and toxic chemicals that they work with on a daily basis. These chemicals have been linked to health problems so they have to be very careful when handling them.
42. You Can't Be Buried Under A Tree
It is a dream of many to be buried under a tree. But it is not actually possible. A body must be buried at least four feet from a tree to protect its root system and the health of the tree. So the idea of being buried under a tree is not actually viable, but quite close.
43. Some Don't Agree With Preserving The Body
Some people and some morticians actually do not like the idea of preserving the body or embalming. One mortician thinks hat a body should look dead, rather than being falsely presented. One reason for this is to help the family come to terms with it and deal with it.
44. There Is A Tradition To Bury Children At Cost
The death of a baby or child is so tragic that it is a general rule that funeral homes will do the service at cost due to the heartbreaking nature of the case. There are also charities which work with funeral homes to provide things for free for the family dealing with their loss.
45. Breast Implants Usually Melt
If somebody is cremated with breast implants, they will melt inside of the cremation machine. Breast implants are one of those things which are often not removed, and so of course they melt down inside the cremation machine which does not cause too much damage.
46. And Other's Will Be Melted Down
Things like hip replacements etc can be requested by the family to be kept. But, this rarely happens and so instead they are melted down with other plastics and used to make things such as road signs. They are removed as they cannot be burned with the ashes due to it being plastic.
47. Some Morticians Hire Dogs
In some funeral homes they employ dogs. Therapy dogs are a great comforter and a great way for those who are grieving to cope with loss. They are the best companions and there are chemicals released when you spend close contact with a dog or animal that relieve stress.
48. They Cover The Legs Because Shoes Are Difficult To Put On
You may have noticed that morticians cover the legs of the deceased. This is because the feet often do not have shoes on. They are difficult to place on because the feet have stiffened. Although this is not the only reason, there are other things such as for religious reasons.
49. There Are More Environmentally Friendly Ways
Caskets and funerals in general as well as embalming are not good for the planet.But there are ways to make it more friendlier to the earth if that is your intention. For example if you use a rental casket the body is then buried in something similar to a cardboard box which decomposes better.
50. Don't Get Ashes In A Temporary Container
When you have the ashes returned to you, make sure you ask the crematory before the return to transfer the ashes in a plain metal or plastic container. Otherwise they give you the ashes in a container which has temporary stamped on it as a way to get you to buy a more expensive urn
51. Sometimes Denture Adhesive Is Used To Put The Skull Back Together
Once the skull has been taken apart it has to be put back together again and sometimes morticians will use denture adhesive to literally glue the cracks back together again and place the skull back as one. There are different methods to do this.
52. Sometimes Morticians Knew The Person
Being a mortician is a calling- it is a hard job anyway. Never mind if they actually knew the person. This is very hard for the mortician when dealing with a body that they had a personal connection t. Even if that connection was not particularly close.
53. They Sometimes Have Strange Requests
Families or loved ones of the deceased have been known to request some very particular and sometimes highly unusual things when they are having their loved one buried. And sometimes the deceased person has made these requests themselves, such as some insist on wearing spandex.
54. Sometimes They Have To Reattach The Whole Head
Of course people die in many different ways. And sometimes sadly the circumstanced and condition of the body is very horrifying. There are occasions where the deceased has to have their whole head reattached to their body for the embalming process and funeral process.
55...Which Takes A Lot Of Work
And this is definitely not easy to do. It requires a LOT of work - hours to be able to reattach the head back to the body and make it appear as though it was never separated in the first place. It takes a lot of equipment and time to be able to accomplish this.
56. Dehydrated Bodies Look Very Different
Sometimes bodies are extremely dehydrated- not often, but when they are it is very apparent. In fact, they look entirely different to bodies that are hydrated. But, this is reversed when the fluids are inserted into the body during embalming the body.
57. Blood Settles When You Die
Blood settles when you die and so depending on the position of the body when he person dies, the blood will settle there. This makes sense when you take into consideration of how liquids simply work but the effect when somebody has died can have a strange effect and look.
58. So It Swells Where The Person Died
For example if the body is on its side, then one side of the body swells with the blood and one side of the body sort of drains... According to morticians it can look very odd. In fact one revealed how all the blood in one mans body had gone to the side of his face.
59. Sometimes They Have To Reconstruct The Face
Again, death can be horrifying and there are lots of different ways that make the body look different in different circumstances. For example accidents may happen where damage is caused to the face. This requires the mortician to reconstruct the face.
60. And They Use Modelling Clay
To do this you would probably not guess how. But one way thy actually manage to achieve this is using modelling clay. To literally try and rebuild some of the facial features which have been disjointed or damaged in any way and make the face look more peaceful again.
61. Larger Bodies May Have To Buy Two Cemetery Plots
We have already discussed how there is a different process for different sized bodies. But it also affects the cemetery plots. If the person was larger the family or loved ones may actually have to purchase two cemetery plots rather than one for the coffin to fit.
62. During The Autopsy The Organs Are Held In A Bucket
During an autopsy all of the organs are removed from the body. They are held in a bucket to store them until the work is done on the body that needs to be completed. Because of course, the organs are needed again to be put back inside of the body.
63. That Is Filled With Cavity Fluid
The bucket where the organs are kept is filled with cavity fluid. This is a liquid which is a higher concentration of the embalming fluid that is injected into the vascular system. This means that the organs will be preserved whilst they remain outside of the body.
64. Vessels Have To Be Severed
There is a lot of gory detail when it comes to the secrets of a mortician. And as we know, lots of things from the body have to be removed, sewn, cut...and all sorts of other things. Another of these horrifying concepts is the fact that the vessels in the body have to be severed.
65. And Then They Are Tied
Then they are not just severed and left. They are tied up. This is also to stop the vessels leaking where they have been severed. By tying them up the liquid cannot escape and cause leakages which as we now know is something morticians want to prevent.
66. Then They Inject And Drain Them
Then that is not the end of that process. As with everything in the process it is intricate and lengthy. So the mortician then has to inject the vessel and then drain them. Again, this is so that the liquid from inside cannot escape through the body.
67. And Then They Are Disinfected
Then...they are disinfected after being drained. Everything during the morticians process is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Of course because the body is being preserved everything has to be as clean as possible and so even the vessels are disinfected.
68. Part Of The Skull Was Sawn Off
Part of the skull has to be sawn off so that the brain can be removed (if the body is being embalmed). This sounds horrifying but it is so that everything can be cleaned and placed back to where it was. The skull then needs putting back so that the body has a normal shape again.
69. Skin Is Pulled Back Over The Head
Then of course the skin has been cut and disrupted from he skull being sawn and the brain being removed. So the skin then needs to be pulled back over the head very carefully and attached as it was before so that it looks as though it has never been touched.
70. It Can Be Closed With A Needle Injector And Pins
Of course the skull needs placing back together. One was this can be done is using the needle injector which we have discussed previously. This essentially allows the pins to hold the skull back into place so that it can be tied down and appear as though it has not been disturbed.
71. Or Drilling And Wires
There is also another way to do this depending on the mortician or the skull or the situation etc. The mortician can drill holes into either side of the skull so that wires can be inserted which will be tied and then the skull will be held back together again.
72. Hidden Fixtures Hold The Skin In Place
The skin is moved and cut during embalmment so this needs to be placed back so that it does not appear as though it has ever moved. Hidden structures are used to secure the skin in place, to pull it back and secure it over areas where organs have been removed for example.
73. And A Sealant Over These Fixtures
And then, because the skin has ben put back and held in place using fixtures it means that the skin does not form the protective barrier for liquid as it normally would. So sealants are placed over the fixtures in order to prevent any liquid from leaking.
74. Plastic Garments Are Worn Under The Clothing
And as well as sealants being used on the skin, plastic garments are also placed on the body to protect the clothing that has been put on the body, as well as the casket. This may any liquid will remain under the plastic and will not ruin to clothes or make the body appear wet.
75. For Organ Donors The Process Is Similar
"Yes I donate" NHS organ donor card. Card in hand.
What we have not discussed to far is what happened when the deceased is an organ donator. But, it turns out that the process is actually very similar to when the person is not an organ donor - apart from the fact that the organs that are being used will not be put back in the body.
76. For Long Bone Donors Pies Can Be Used
Some people donate bones and if things such as femurs are being used or any long bones, then they have to be removed but then they have to be replaced so that the body retains its usual shape. So for this pipes are sometimes used to maintain the regular shape of the body.
77. Skin Donors Have To Be Cauterised
Also, skin donors of course have skin taken and donated. What happens is the skin has to be cauterised, and this is usually taken from the back and back side of the body. This is because the surface area of the skin here is larger than other parts of the body.
78. Then Plastic Garments Are Used
Then, skin cannot be replaced. So, to stop the body and the casket getting wet where there is no skin protection, plastic garments are used instead. So if there is any leakage the plastic will prevent any spillages as such.
79. If The Eye Is Removed It Is Packed With Cotton
We already know the process behind making the yes appear more normal. But some people have to have eyes removed for tissue donation, or other circumstanced. And so in these cases the eye socket is first packed with cotton and then the plastic cap on top.
80. Phenol Is Used In Cases To Stop Bruising
Obviously depending on the situation of somebody's death, there could be bruising. This is stopped and prevented by using phenol to reduce the appearance so that the body looks more normal and presentable for the family. Otherwise seeing their loved one would be much more shocking and upsetting.
81. Sometimes Bones Have To Be Stuck Back Together
Again, we have discussed that sometimes the body does not arrive in good condition.Sometimes a bone or even multiple bones are broken. And so, the mortician has to make these appear not broken so that the body can lay to rest looking peaceful. So they actually have to stick them back together with glue.
82. They Are Finding Alternate Ways Than Formaldehyde
Morticians and those in the business are trying to step away from using as much formaldehyde than they used to. his is because besides being very harmful to the environment it is also dangerous for the people working with it - it is a carcinogen and also causes sinus issues.
83. Some Morticians Think Everyone Should Learn To Prepare The Dead
Some morticians think everyone should learn to prepare dead bodies themselves. This is because they think death should be normalised, rather then be something that we shy away from. Some think it would be a way to be able to accept and cope with death easier.
84. Their Schedules Are Unpredictable
The schedule of a mortician is unpredictable to say the least. It is definitely another hard thing about the job. But, morticians often feel that they have a calling to do their job and so they are willing to accept the hardships as they feel they are fulfilling their purpose.
85. They Advise You To Shop around
Those working at funeral homes actually advise you to shop around. The exact same service may cost thousands different depending on where you choose. In fact, just places miles apart can vary this much. So it is better to shop around to get a better deal.
86. All Bodies Are Different
All bodies are different even in death, they require different things and different ways of being embalmed etc. It is not just about size, many things can vary in terms of the body and so each body is dealt with individually, depending on their specific needs.
87. And Require Different Things
So, some bodies need more cleansing. Some have a lot more moisture and need to be prevented from leaking. Others need more liquid putting in due to the lack of moisture in their body. They can vary massively and so the timing and equipment also varies.
88. Even Timing Affects It
Even the timing of a death can affect a body when it is deceased. And, when in the year they died for example, if somebody passed away in the middle of summer their body may be more likely to start decaying at a faster rate than a deceased body in winter.
89. The Skin Is So Fragile
Skin is so fragile, especially in death because it loses its elasticity and hydration amongst other things and it becomes more easily torn. So morticians have to be extremely careful when they are dealing with the skin so that it does not break and tear.
90. They Do Not Shave Hair
Some people have asked morticians questions when it comes to hair. They have asked the question of whether morticians shave or wax any hair from certain areas. The answer is no. And part of this reason is due to how fragile the skin is, and also the fact that it is not necessary.
91. They Ask If The Family Wants The Facial Hair Left
When a body has facial hair of some sort the mortician will ask the family if they want it keeping or not. If they do not they can carefully cut it off and remove it. It is totally dependent on what the family prefer and how they want the body to appear.
92. If So, They Wash It
If the family or loved ones do choose to keep it then the mortician will leave the hair as it is but to make sure it is clean and hygienic they will wash the hair. It also helps the body look presentable for when/if the grieving family view the body.
93. And Even Add A Little Oil Sometimes
And not only that, it gets the full treatment and the mortician may even apply some oil for example if the deceased person has a beard. It makes the facial hair look healthier and shinier and probably more like it looked when the deceased was alive...
94. A Large Screw Is Inserted Into The Backside
There are many, many processes involved in preparing the body during death. One of these is that a large screw is actually inserted into the backside. This is because it is the largest place where fluids leak from and so the mortician prevents this by using the screw.
95. The Eyes Can Open
It is a disturbing thought to think of the eyes of a deceased person opening up, but it is common, hence why they are glued shut. Because they can just randomly open and even morticians prefer it when this does not happen. And especially family members.
96. Sometimes Breast Implants Burst
We know what happens to breast implants in the furnace but sometimes they actually explode before this point. It is not highly common but it has happened on a few occasions. Which of course makes more damage and a longer process to clean up and repair.
97. A Body Can Appear To Exhale
A dead body of course can no longer actually exhale, but there is something that happens tot he body which can make it appear as thought they suddenly exhale. When this happens, if the mortician is not used to it it can be very disturbing to witness.
98. And Sometimes Sound Seems To Come Out
And, one mortician has spoken about a time that this happened when he was working. And, not only did the body appear to exhale but a sound also emitted from the body which made it seem like they were breathing out loud. It was of course very perturbing.
99. Some People Have Made Strange Requests
It is bound to happen...some people request very strange things either for themselves in the case of their own death or by family members or loved ones. Amongst the requests of what to wear and what objects to place we also have some people requesting that they make the body look a certain style...
100. There Have Been Instances Of Insect Problems
One mortician noted that one time he had a problem with gnats and insects swarming the body. Of course insect are attracted to dead bodies due to the smell and the decay. But of course, this is problematic when the body is being used for a memorial service.
101. And They Had To Use Insect Repellent
So this particular mortician had to secretly use insect repelling candles which he disguised and he had to spray the body with insect repellent to try and stop them swarming so that nobody would notice because it would be distressing during the service to see.
102. You Can Never Fully Clock Off
It is a hard job. And not just because they have to deal with grieving people and dead bodies. But the hours are also totally unpredictable. If they get a call out of hours there is nothing they can do because they have to attend. Whether it is midnight or Christmas day...
103. People Request Strange Objects To Go In The Casket
People amongst man other things also request strange objects to be placed in the casket beside their loved one because it holds a sentimental meaning or the person loved it. One family wanted a surf board in the casket too, but it had to be sawed in half to be able to fit inside.
104. Someone Asked For A Tattoo To Be Removed So They Could Keep It
Another peculiar request that one mortician was asked by the family members of the deceased person was if they could keep the tattoo of their loved one. And so the mortician obliged and had to remove the skin with he tattoo on and keep it for their loved ones and patch up the remainder.
105. Some Feel Connected To Spirits
One mortician said that by doing this job she felt very aligned with spirits and the supernatural. In fact she claims that she sometimes hears footsteps when nobody is around and she feels aware of presences. She believes this stems form the fact that she deals with the dead.
106. Cremation Costs A Lot Less Than Burial
Cremation is becoming more and more of a popular choice, in fact around half of all Americans are now cremated. Burial used to be the most popular choice. There are a lot of reasons involved in this change in decision. And one is that it costs a fraction of the price.
107. Embalming Is Not Required If There Is No Funeral
Embalming adds to the price of the funeral, and the fluids used may harm the environment. Embalming is generally required if you have a funeral with a viewing or visitation. Many people avoid embalming by holding a memorial service after cremation.
108. The Cremation Time Depends On The Size Of The Body
Cremations are not all the same. They can vary from 40 minutes to up to around 3 hours. This all depends on the size of the body. The larger the body is, the longer it takes to cremate. One of the longest cremations according to one mortician took just over 3 hours long.
109. Someone Once Requested To Keep Their Loved Ones Shrapnel
There are many peculiar requests. As we saw, some people like to keep hip/knee replacements from their loved one. This person wanted to keep their loved ones shrapnel that remained from their wounds in the war. They wanted to keep them as a reminder of what they had done.
110. Everybody Is Treated With Dignity
The most important thing is that the dead are treated with the utmost respect and dignity as far as possible, not only for the deceased person themselves but also for the sake of their loved ones and family members. And this is exactly what morticians try to do.
111. And Morticians Are Affected After The Working Day
Of course this depends on the person as with any job. But, being a mortician is definitely a vocation and a calling. Sometimes it is impossible not to take it home with you at the end of the day after witnessing death and dealing with grieving families.
112. But It Is Rewarding
But of course, the job has its rewards. Being the people that help put somebody's loved ones to rest helps make the job feel all the more worthwhile. And, helping a grieving family be able to come to terms with a death is a very rewarding thing to do.
113. Each Body Goes Into A Separate Chamber
There is a misconception that bodies all go into one big chamber. This is not the case. Bodies are not all put in to the incinerator together. In fact, each chamber is only big enough to take one coffin, so they go one at a time. Plus, it is a much ore respectful way to do it.
114. Ashes Do Not Get Mixed Up Together
This is also another common assumption which is not correct. The ashes do not all get put in together and mixed up. Coffins have name plates on and each is put in separate compartments so that isn’t possible. And, it is important for families to know it is the ashes of their deceased.
115. None Of The Coffin Is Reused
Again, some people assume that parts of the coffin such as the handles or the metal parts are reused. This is not true. The metals also go into the furnace and are melted down but separately because of course metals have to be dealt with differently.
116. Metals Are All Separated
Metals are all sorted. Rings or jewellery shouldn’t be put in, in the first place, but if they are however, the metals are separated from the remains in a cremator and can be returned to loved ones as and if requested, scattered, buried or even recycled.
117. The Coffin May Not Go Straight Into The Furnace
When we see the coffin go straight behind the curtain many of us automatically assume that it leads straight into the furnace behind. But this is not necessarily the case. There may actually be a queue depending on the day and how busy the crematorium is.
118. Anyone Can Lead A Service
It is not true that only certain people can lead a memorial service. It does not have to be a vicar or a priest or a minister. It can actually be anyone depending where the memorial takes place. And, this is becoming a much more common and popular option.
119. Some People Don't Want A Coffin
Some people do not want a coffin, either by what the deceased themselves has asked for in advance, or because the family of the deceased does not want one. But there are ways now without a coffin. You can be lowered on a plinth or in a cardboard box.
120. They Try To Do What The Family Want
Overall, it is all down to the family of the deceased and what they decide and what they wish...as far as that is possible anyway. But the mortician wants their wishes to be the priority. And so as far as they can do what they ask - they will do their best to achieve it.
121. Preparing For Viewings Can Take So Many Different Tools And Techniques
Image Source / Reddit
It isn't a simple thing to prepare a deceased body for a viewing before a burial or cremation, and it's not as simple as just tidying up. The body needs to look as normal and natural as possible, which can mean a mortician needs to apply many different techniques, and use many different tools, to create that natural-looking appearance.
122. Morticians Work Hard To Reflect The Deceased's Unique Personality
Image Source / BuzzFeed
Morticians don't treat all bodies the same in preparations and funerals - they want to make sure the deceased's unique personality and the interests they had in life are reflected even in death. With this in mind, they will work closely with the families to make sure they understand the deceased's personality.
123. A Mortician's Job Gives Them A Very Unique Perspective
Image Source / Reddit
Not many jobs can give a person this very unique outlook on life and death. Even those faced with life and death on a daily basis, like doctors or emergency responders, don't get the same perspective as a mortician does in regard to human life and the body after death.
124. Morticians Might Have To Handle Mummies
Image Source / Reddit
When bodies arrive with a mortician, they're not always in a natural state. Some morticians have to deal with bodies that have actually been preserved, such as through mummification or even through cryonics. The mortician will then need to work on the body after the fact.
125. Morticians Are Faced With Complicated Legal Requirements
Image Source / Reddit
They don't just have one set and legal way of doing things, as this can always changed based on family rights, cultural customs and religious beliefs. This means that morticians constantly have to balance what's 'legal' in regard to the cultural, religious or historical viewpoints from different societies.
126. Morticians Need Excellent Communication Skills
Image Source / Reddit
You might not have thought morticians need to be particularly skilled at communication when they work in a quiet setting with deceased people, but these communication skills are vital for working with other service providers in regard to funerals to make sure all attention to detail is met.
127. Record-Keeping Is Part Of A Mortician's Job, Too
Image Source / Reddit
A mortician's responsibility isn't just to tend to the body and put it into a natural state - they also need to maintain many, many records and admin documents as a very important part of their job. This documentation is vital for providing a record of the deceased person's life.
128. It Can Actually Be A Rewarding Career
Image Source / Abandoned Southeast
Many people may balk at the idea of working with the dead and feel as though they wouldn't be able to feel satisfied seeing that much grief and death every day. But a mortician's job is an important one and it can be a very fulfilling career path knowing that you can make a positive impact on families and the community.
129. It Can Be Physically Challenging
Image Source / Reddit
When you think of physically demanding jobs, you might not think of a mortician, but actually this job takes a big toll on the body based on the amount of tools and techniques morticians need to implement, as well as being on their feet a lot. Most morticians will make sure to keep fit by exercising every day.
130. A Mortician's Role With The Living Is Just As Important As Their Role With The Dead
Image Source / Reddit
How a mortician interacts with the living family of the deceased is part of their job that's just as huge as dealing with the deceased. They're responsible for supporting families in grief, and helping them through a difficult time by making sure the deceased gets the care and attention they need.
131. And Now... The Strangest Funeral Customs And Rituals From Around The World! Public Cremation
Image Source / US Funerals Online
In Colorado, USA, there is the only known legal public cremation facility which operates in the open-air! This means that people who can cover the cost of $500 to use this facility will get access to a more effective type of wood that can burn better than others, the use of the land, a stretcher for the body and also the fire-department on back-up!
132. Sky Burial
Image Source / Reddit
The sky burial isn't anything to do with literally taking bodies into the sky - it's actually to do with animals that inhabit the sky. In Tibet, the 'sky burial' is where dead bodies will provide sustenance for birds by being chopping up into little pieces and placed outside for birds to feed on. It's not as grim as it sounds, as it's actually supposed to be a kind send off.
133. Ocean Reef Memorial
Image Source / Reddit
If you're a lover of the ocean and marine life, this one might actually appeal to you. This type of memorial is arranged in the USA by the company Eternal Reefs, which takes your remains after being cremated and puts them into something known as a 'reef ball' (a cement ball) which then provides a home for marine life!
Image Source / illuminaija
This custom of death sees people eating the dead. Though it might sound like something from a horror movie, it's actually a respected custom that's supposed to help with losing the fear around death. It was a custom made by the tribes of South America, Brazil and Papua New Guinea, where the local deceased would be eaten.
135. Jazz Burial
Image Source / Beyond the Dash
Lovers of music might like this one, and particularly if you're a huge jazz fan. This one sees popular jazz music from New Orleans itself incorporated into a funeral procession. The procession starts with a huge band playing sombre music before later turning to more upbeat jazz tunes and dancing for a more positive celebration of the deceased.
136. Kitchen Funeral
Image Source / Jon to the World Blog
This custom, seen in the northern Philippines, is performed by the Apayo people. A kitchen funeral - or more a kitchen burial - is where deceased family members are buried in coffins under the kitchen of a home. They do say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so it's understandable why family members want relatives close in this way!
137. Totem Pole Funeral
Image Source / Don's Maps
In North America, a people called the Haida had a funeral ritual which might sound very graphic and violent but is actually all part of their customs. The deceased body of a shaman or chief would be beaten by clubs. The beaten-up remains of the body would then be placed in a box and put inside a totem pole, which would then be placed outside the dead person's home.
138. Fantasy Coffins
Image Source / BBC
According to culture and customs in Ghana, the deceased can have coffins that reflect their interests and how they lived. These can be very extravagant coffins to make sure fantasies come true, like coffins shaped like huge planes, ships or even animals. This is also to have the deceased continue with that fantasy in the afterlife!
139. Burial At The Crossroads For Suicides
Image Source / Icy Sedgwick
This custom comes from England in response to people who would die by suicide. This was seen as a crime in ancient times, and in response, bodies would be buried at a crossroads rather than a normal burial as this was intended to confuse the spirits of the deceased. It was also believed these spirits would return to their homes to haunt others.
140. Skull Burial
Image Source / Twitter
The Pacific island nation of the Kiribati has a burial custom where the recently deceased are laid out in their homes for around 12 days (depending on the manner of their death). After this time, they'll be buried in the usual way, but then dug up again months later for their skull to be taken. The skull is then cleaned up and put on display in the home!
141. Turning Of The Bones
Image Source / Wikipedia
The Turning of the Bones ritual comes from Madagascar, also called the Famadihana, by the Malagasy people who carry it out. This burial custom sees the bodies of the deceased being taken from their family crypts and then rewrapped in new bindings. Then Malagasy people will then dance with the corpse sacks!
142. Amputating Fingers
Image Source / Reddit
This ritual relates to something the living must do to themselves rather than to the dead, and there's a reason it's now been banned! The people in West Papua, New Guinea, would cut off some of their fingers if they were related to a person who had recently died. This included children having their fingers amputated, too!
143. Blindfolded Funeral
Image Source / RoughMaps
This custom, in the north-western area of the Philippines, sees the Benguet people blindfold the corpse of the deceased. Not only that, but they'll then prop the body up at the entrance to their homes, so that visitors would be greeted by the blindfolded body of the deceased.
144. Tinguian Funeral
Image Source / Quora
Also in the Philippines comes this funeral ritual, where the Tinguian people would dress up the bodies of their deceased in their most formal outfits and accessories. The body will then be placed, sat upright, in a chair and they'll also have a cigarette placed in their mouths and lit!
145. Tree Burial
Image Source / Redeeming God
Within the community of people known as the Caviteño in the Philippines is the tree burial ritual, which actually begins before a person died. The person themselves, once getting old or facing death because of health issues, will go out and pick a tree. Their family will then build a hut at the tree and when the person dies, they'll be buried vertically within the hollowed-out tree trunk.
Image Source / Wikipedia
This funeral rite is now illegal, and understandably so, because it's quite gruesome. Sati - an Indian funeral ritual - would see the widow of a deceased man lie on the funeral pyre with him and be burned alive. There were also other versions of this, including drowning or being buried alive with the deceased!
147. Tower Of Silence
Image Source / SURFIRAN
The tower refers to the place where the body will eventually be placed in this Zoroastrian (Iranian religion) funeral ritual. This ritual sees the body washed and then cleansed using bull urine, before it's visited by a holy dog. It's then put on top of the Tower of Silence, a structure built for this ritual, where the body will then be eaten by vultures.
148. Aboriginal Burial
Image Source / ABC
The Aboriginal people of Australia would leave the bodies of their deceased relatives out in nature, so that they could naturally rot with the dirt outside. After the body has decomposed, the liquid of the remains would also be rubbed on children's skin! It was done with the idea that the 'best qualities' of the dead person would be transferred through the ritual of applying the liquid to the skin. The bones may also have then been worn by relatives.
149. Glowing Buddhas
Image Source / Atlas Obscura
Japan has the highest cremation rate in the world, and it's here that this next custom takes place. There is a columbarium - a place where urns are kept - in Japan which provides Buddha statues that glow. Grieving family members visited urns will see their relevant Buddha statue glow white, while the rest will glow blue.
150. German Rental Plots
Image Source / Reddit
In Germany - as well as a lot of other European cultures and countries - it's not known to buy burial plots permanently. Instead, they're rented out, for a period of around 20 years, until the bodies are then dug up at the end of the lease before being placed in a mass grave.