This week, I was shopping at a Goodwill (I love a good bargain) and I found a bag of blocks intermixed with the colorful and plastic shapes. Mixed in was a Jenga game, the stacked tower game where folks remove a piece hoping the blocks don’t come crashing down. I bought the bag of blocks but only wanted the Jenga game. Rather than take home what I decided to separate them and give the blocks to someone with kids or I’d just give them back.
An older gentleman walked up to me and I asked if he had any young children in his life. He said he didn’t but seemed fascinated by the blocks. He reached into the bag and pulled out a yellow rectangular block with a half circle cut out of the long side and said, “This looks like something you see in a mortuary.”
A random stranger bringing up the topic of death doesn’t happen with me as often as you might think. I was excited to interact with him and said, “Ah yes the head rest in the embalming room.”
He replied, “Yeah, once I got to go into the back room of this old mortuary and saw this long ceramic table with what looked like a moat channel all the way around it.”
“The embalming table…” I encouraged him.
“There was this huge needle resting on the table!” he exclaimed, trying to shock me a little. “They call it a trocar, it’s for cavity embalming.” smiling along with his story. And then he made me laugh. He looked me up and down, then at the store clerk, “OK you are starting to freak me out a bit.” Embalming is a fascinating process that I’ve been fortunate to see once. You see as a teenager I lived behind a funeral home. After lots of curious questions, the embalmer surprisingly let me watch him skillfully take care of a corpse. It was truly a shocking experience for my 16 year old mind and eyes. It still resonates with me decades later, especially the care and respect he gave the dead body.
Amazingly wikihow has a great illustrated description that outlines of the process, including setting the features.
Wanna learn more? Check it out here:
Yes, my gig is kinda odd. I’ve got some interesting facts shaking around in this noggin of mine and love sharing them. Sometimes, I freak people out “a bit”.
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Kel McBride, MLS, CEOLS, also known as the Lively Death Lady is a death and dying educator. She supports people in making informed decisions about their death that are in sync with their values. From health care to legacy, McBride makes the morbid intriguing and light-hearted, with amusing examples and details of lesser-known options. Her clients get their documents in order, have quality conversations about their wishes with friends and family – and also find a new focus on LIVING. She primarily works with people who are younger & healthy, people who believe their death is in the distant future. For more information or to be added to her EXPIRATIONS INSPIRATIONS blog email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit clearlydepart.com