Questions I Have Been Asked About The Funeral Business

August 22, 2009
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This blog comes from Cindy Cribbs “Starting Over At 40” blog. Cindy is currently working towards her funeral directors licensee and works part time evenings and weekends at a funeral home. She says so far she loves the funeral business, but is amazed at how much people don’t understand the business. She compiled a list of questions she has been frequently asked, and has decided to share them with us. I encourage you to keep read,as must of us have probably been asked the same questions numerous times.?

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I never realized how secretive and mysterious the general population thinks about the Funeral business. When I got my part time job at the funeral home, no one that knew me well was surprised. Most people said the same thing “That fits you.” But, over the past 8 months I have been asked some very interesting, some very odd and some right down weird questions. So I decided that I would share some of them with you.

1. When they embalm you where does your blood go? This question was asked by my mom. Apparently there was an episode of CSI or one of those shows where they showed an embalming and she wanted to know what happens to your blood. Well, the same thing that happens to your other bodily waste it goes down the drain to the sewer system. That will certainly make you think the next time you want to play in a flooded street.

2. I know there is not a viewing schedule, but can we stop by and see the body? This was a call I received while working one evening. The answer is NO. If the family did not schedule to have a viewing or visitation as it is referred to now, it is because they did not want one. I really wanted to tell her we were not in the business of show and tell.

3. Do you see ghosts at the funeral home? This has been asked by everyone and the answer is not yet. I have yet to see a ghost or have anything ghostly happen to me. And I have been in the funeral home alone at night and nothing, no flickering lights, not odd sounds, no voices, nothing. It is usually pretty peaceful.

4. What does a dead body look like? Well it looks like a live body only still. Okay that is not really true. It depends on how they died, but most of the time when I see them before they are made up and dressed they look like a mannequin. There is nothing gross or scary about it; at least not to me.

5. Isn’t hard to sit there through those funerals? Yes and no. Just because I work in a funeral home does not mean I have turned into the Ice Queen. I does get emotional at times, it is not the grief and emotions that gets to me. But the love and compassion you see people exhibit with each other. That can be very moving. But for the benefit of my mental health I have learned to keep a nice emotional distance.

6. Is it wrong to enjoy visiting at a wake? I like this one because it seems the older generation understands that death is just a transition where as the younger generation are much more upset. I have seen families sit here and laugh with each other, they share stories and memories and truly enjoy the company of their fellow family members. On the surface it looks like they are having a party but underneath you know that they are grieving just in their own way.

These are just a few of the questions I get asked. Of course if you have any specific ones feel free to email or call me and I will be happy to answer them for you.

Article By: Cindy Cribbs

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