Have You Ever Been Tackled On A Death Call?

August 7, 2013
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The following post was originally posted on Confessions Of A Funeral Director Blog

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The following post was submitted by a funeral director who wishes to remain anonymous.  While the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the parties involved, the circumstances and events that you are about to read are entirely true.  

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Jane Doe had been a prominent and well-known local politician. She had been on hospice for a short time. Upon arriving at Jane’s, typical suburban house, at the end of the culda sac, I counted about 15 cars parked around her house.  I couldn’t help but think, “Wow!  Jane was very well loved, and there are a lot of cars here for 2am.

Upon ringing the door bell, I was greeted by John, her husband of 30 years. He couldn’t help but apologize for “waking us up at such an ungodly hour”. After speaking with John, and asking if he was ready for us, he replied, “Yes” and invited us inside. Internally I thought this will be straight shot, piece of cake pickup.

What I failed to gather was the mood of the people in the house … the quiet before the storm. Jane had been in the living room. Me and my partner gather our required equipment, and made the 50 foot journey to the living room.  I began my speech, “if you would to stay and watch and help, you’re more than welcome too. Please do not feel as if you have to leave the room.”  No one wanted to help us move Jane, but they all decided to stay and watch.

Upon getting Jane onto the stretcher, I was entirely unaware of the mass hysteria about to unfold in front of my eyes.  After I moved Jane onto the stretcher, I began to tighten the strap when Jane’s body, due to the force of me strapping her in, belched.

Mass hysteria erupted. I was literally tackled away from the stretcher, 911 was called, and the teary eyed people now became violent, as to them I was taking their very much ALIVE loved one who had not died.  I was sat upon, as the police and ambulance were on their way. What was probably only 3 minutes seemed like an eternity and I could only think of one thing, “where is this hospice nurse?!”

Upon the authorities’ arrival, I was able to explain my predicament.  And that the belching that had occurred was a natural and actually fairly common phenomena for the dead. The police officer, fireman, and ambulance driver cracked a knowing smile and helped me restore the peace as I took Jane into my care.

They even escorted us to the funeral home. John, upon seeing me the next afternoon to make arrangements, immediately burst into laughter, saying, “Sorry about last night, my family loved her very dearly.” My only response was to politely say “I would have done the same thing had I not known better.”

Caleb Wilde

I'm a sixth generation funeral director. I have a grad degree in Missional Theology. And I like to read and write. Connect with my writing and book plans by "liking" me on facebook. And keep tabs with my blog via subscription or twitter.
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