Ask a mortician
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30-11-2013, 01:00 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 12:48 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  Fuckit; just throw me in the dirt. No point in waiting.

People are so impractical with the corpses of their former loved ones...

Wait... is "Screw embalming or freezing; just dump me in the dirt" a valid option?

Not really so much, at least here... We don't freeze anyone, just refrigerate. And we can't legally bury anyone without a burial permit issues by the state of California, which can't be filed until the doctor signs the death certificate. So the process takes several days usually and we can't keep anyone out of refrigeration for more than 24 hours. So you have to do one or the other.

There are certain instances where we can do it quickly - Muslims believe in burying within one day of death with no embalming, so if their doctor is on board with this goal it's feasible. Jews also try to bury quickly and without embalming. So, we try.. but, you know... red tape.

(30-11-2013 12:50 AM)Smercury44 Wrote:  Is it true most funeral homes won't let you just bury someone without embalming and a casket? I've always thought it would be nice to go right in the ground. Nothing to protect my body from becoming part of the earth.

Well, yes, you have to have a casket. In most cemeteries around here you also have to have a vault to prevent the cemetery grounds from sinking as the caskets deteriorate. There are certain exceptions, but they are usually burial gardens owned by specific religious groups. Most cemeteries don't allow it, and there are a ton of laws that make it extremely difficult to bury without a casket. Embalming is entirely optional though - unless there is a circumstance that makes it necessary, the funeral home can't pressure you into it. Cremation is a much simpler and cheaper option, and no funeral home I know of will try to talk you out of opting for that route.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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30-11-2013, 01:04 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 12:56 AM)BrokenQuill92 Wrote:  Have u ever gotten sick from handling a body?

I have not, but I know several people who have. One contracted HIV from a needle stick and one contracted tuberculosis from an infected body. It's a constant risk, usually without the knowledge that we are handling infected remains.
(30-11-2013 12:56 AM)BrokenQuill92 Wrote:  How thick is human skin?


The epidermis is very thin - about a millimeter in most places. The dermis is a little thicker, up to 3 mm. It all depends on the person and their health though. many people get thinning of the skin as they age.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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30-11-2013, 01:09 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 12:58 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Ohio, have you ever brought the wrong body to a funeral or made some other disastrous mix-up like that?

I've had some very close calls, but no. A local hospital recently released the wrong body to another funeral home that we were supposed to pick up, because the two decedents had very, very similar names... and not common names, either. They were both east Indian and had long names you don't see often around here. It was a very easy mistake, but was caught before anything disastrous happened. One of my removal staff once mixed up the ID bands on two cases he brought in at the same time, but luckily one of them had hospital identification and I caught it. It's definitely something we constantly look out for.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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30-11-2013, 01:10 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
Ohio,
Do you have to be in a casket to be cremated?

I admire you in that it takes a special person to be involved in this line of work. Without sounding too morbid, what does it feel like to stare death in the face, everyday? Also, what drove you to work in this industry?
I find it a very interesting field.

Thanks for your response and for creating such a great thread Smile
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30-11-2013, 01:11 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 01:00 AM)Ohio Sky Wrote:  
(30-11-2013 12:48 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  Fuckit; just throw me in the dirt. No point in waiting.

People are so impractical with the corpses of their former loved ones...

Wait... is "Screw embalming or freezing; just dump me in the dirt" a valid option?

Not really so much, at least here... We don't freeze anyone, just refrigerate. And we can't legally bury anyone without a burial permit issues by the state of California, which can't be filed until the doctor signs the death certificate. So the process takes several days usually and we can't keep anyone out of refrigeration for more than 24 hours. So you have to do one or the other.

There are certain instances where we can do it quickly - Muslims believe in burying within one day of death with no embalming, so if their doctor is on board with this goal it's feasible. Jews also try to bury quickly and without embalming. So, we try.. but, you know... red tape.

Damn.

Well, when I'm dead I wont be around to give a shit if my corpse is buried in the way I want or not, I suppose. At least if I'm in California at the time of my existence-stop.

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30-11-2013, 01:16 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 01:00 AM)Ohio Sky Wrote:  Well, yes, you have to have a casket. In most cemeteries around here you also have to have a vault to prevent the cemetery grounds from sinking as the caskets deteriorate. There are certain exceptions, but they are usually burial gardens owned by specific religious groups. Most cemeteries don't allow it, and there are a ton of laws that make it extremely difficult to bury without a casket. Embalming is entirely optional though - unless there is a circumstance that makes it necessary, the funeral home can't pressure you into it. Cremation is a much simpler and cheaper option, and no funeral home I know of will try to talk you out of opting for that route.

How often do you see a coffin instead of a casket?
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30-11-2013, 01:17 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 01:10 AM)aurora Wrote:  Ohio,
Do you have to be in a casket to be cremated?

I admire you in that it takes a special person to be involved in this line of work. Without sounding too morbid, what does it feel like to stare death in the face, everyday? Also, what drove you to work in this industry?
I find it a very interesting field.

Thanks for your response and for creating such a great thread Smile

You do not have to be in a casket to be cremated, at least nowhere in the states that I know of. You have to have some sort of combustible container, though, as human remains won't readily burn by themselves. Our standard for direct cremations is called an alternative container, and is basically a large cardboard box.

I came into this field entirely by accident, actually. I never planned it or thought about it much until I was offered a job by a small-town acquaintance. Now I can't picture myself anywhere else. It's very challenging and rewarding, and never gets monotonous. I don't really feel like I'm 'staring death in the face.' Occasionally I see people my age (late 20s) who have met untimely ends and it reminds me to be more careful and be grateful for every day I get. Occasionally I see people my daughters age and that's a bit harder.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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30-11-2013, 01:20 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 01:16 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  How often do you see a coffin instead of a casket?

If by 'coffin,' you are referring to what we usually call a 'toe-pincher' then once, ever. lol. I had one family that made their own casket and it was a traditional coffin shape. None of the major casket companies make these anymore. I hear they're still pretty common in other areas like in the south, though.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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30-11-2013, 01:22 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 01:17 AM)Ohio Sky Wrote:  
(30-11-2013 01:10 AM)aurora Wrote:  Ohio,
Do you have to be in a casket to be cremated?

I admire you in that it takes a special person to be involved in this line of work. Without sounding too morbid, what does it feel like to stare death in the face, everyday? Also, what drove you to work in this industry?
I find it a very interesting field.

Thanks for your response and for creating such a great thread Smile

You do not have to be in a casket to be cremated, at least nowhere in the states that I know of. You have to have some sort of combustible container, though, as human remains won't readily burn by themselves. Our standard for direct cremations is called an alternative container, and is basically a large cardboard box.

I came into this field entirely by accident, actually. I never planned it or thought about it much until I was offered a job by a small-town acquaintance. Now I can't picture myself anywhere else. It's very challenging and rewarding, and never gets monotonous. I don't really feel like I'm 'staring death in the face.' Occasionally I see people my age (late 20s) who have met untimely ends and it reminds me to be more careful and be grateful for every day I get. Occasionally I see people my daughters age and that's a bit harder.

Yes, the young or very young would definitely be harder.
I once worked with a man who used to work in cremations. He had a few interesting stories to tell Shocking

Thank you for your reply.
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30-11-2013, 01:26 AM
RE: Ask a mortician
(30-11-2013 01:20 AM)Ohio Sky Wrote:  
(30-11-2013 01:16 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  How often do you see a coffin instead of a casket?

If by 'coffin,' you are referring to what we usually call a 'toe-pincher' then once, ever. lol. I had one family that made their own casket and it was a traditional coffin shape. None of the major casket companies make these anymore. I hear they're still pretty common in other areas like in the south, though.

I have been thinking about making a casket for my mother when she dies. The one we used for my grandmother was made by a friend and we just dropped it off at the funeral home....they accepted it no questions asked. Its not hard to make a simple but elegant casket and you can buy all the hardware/handles off ebay.
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