Lately, I’ve posted more about my life’s journey than The Taste of Orange journey. I apologize to my followers, but I must post one more unrelated topic because the dead cannot speak. That’s why it’s important as a funeral director’s daughter to dispel the myths. Below are the questions I’ve been asked throughout the years and the honest, undisputable answers.
I once heard that a casket flew out the back of a hearse, causing the corpse to roll onto the road. Does this happen often?
It boggles my mind how often this happens. That’s why it’s imperative to turn your headlights on during the funeral procession-visibility is everything.
Why is embalming fluid pink?
The main ingredient is Pepto Bismol.
Is it true that all funeral directors and their families reside in the funeral home?
Yes, at night the embalming room functions as the family room. Just typing the word embalming makes me crave popcorn. Pass the butter.
On television, they show people eating in the embalming room. Does this really happen?
Every day. However, funeral directors never eat tuna sandwiches in the embalming room. The combination of tuna vapors and embalming fluid fumes cause toxic gas. Roast beef is preferred.
Have you ever touched a dead person? If so, what did their skin feel like?
A hairless cat.
I’ve heard that everyone takes one last breath forty-eight hours after death.
Yes, that’s why the nostrils are stuffed with cotton and the mouth glued shut within the first six hours of death.
Is it true that hair and nails continue to grow after death?
Absolutely. The lock and seal on the casket is so that years later the accumulation of hair doesn’t pop the lid off. Nails become brittle after death and snap off at the nail beds once they reach fourteen feet in length—the average length of a casket is eighty-four inches.
I’ve heard that bodies actually sit up days after death.
It’s true and has freaked me out more than once.
Did you ever lie down in a casket?
Yes, but they are not as soft as they appear . . . they are softer. I rest my head on a casket pillow every night. They’re awesome for neck support. Ask your local funeral director if he/she can give you a good deal on their copper casket brand pillows. Nothing says “home” like a crushed velvet pillow.
What happens when you get ‘scared to death’ twice?
The funeral director takes two nice vacations instead of one.
Just the sight of a hearse creeps me out. Did you ever ride in a hearse?
Yes. The fragrance of carnations always reminds me of the scent inside a hearse.
Why do people appear heavy after death?
It’s the same principle as photos and television adding ten pounds, except death adds thirty. Shame on those that thought I’d fall for that dead weight cliché.
What is the difference between funeral homes and mortuaries?
The services at funeral homes cost twice as much as they do at mortuaries. Funeral homes employ funeral directors whereas mortuaries hire mere morticians.
Do funeral directors have long happy marriages?
Yes, my mother passed away four years ago, but my parents were happily married just shy of sixty years.
Do you have to go to school to become a funeral director?
Yes, but only those with a genius I.Q. gain acceptance into the Mortuary Science Program. If you couldn’t answer thirteen out of fifteen of these questions, you should pick an easier profession like a lawyer, doctor, or reality star. After all, funeral directors are post-mortem cardiovascular surgeons!
Always remember that no matter how evil you are on earth, nothing sends you straight to heaven like a copper casket.
In closing . . . pass the butter, but don’t drink the Pepto Bismol!