Better dead than alive

Charles No Comments

Going through my stats, researching for a blog post, I saw that someone had clicked through a link I did not recognise. So I clicked through myself and found this wonderful account of embalming excellence at Harlem-based Owens Funeral Home “where beauty softens grief” . I used it in a blog post so long ago I’d forgotten. If you didn’t see it way back then, enjoy it now. If you recall it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it again. The quality’s good enough to go full screen.

What a wonderful selling point this funeral home has: “I’m the guy who puts the smile on your face. Other places you just look dead.”

On a related theme, I’ve just stumbled on another article describing cosmetic treatments for the dead. While a certain amount of beautification goes on in UK funeral homes (it reflects well on an undertaker’s standards of care), we do not have over here the ritual (ordeal if you like) of the open casket visitation. So while, when thinking forward to our own funeral, we customarily conclude with the reflection that we won’t be there, Americans don’t. Because they will. And, of course, they want to look good and they’re bound to worry that they mightn’t. “People used to say, just throw me in a pine box and bury me in the back yard,” says Mark Duffey, president and CEO of Everest Funeral, a national funeral planning and concierge service. “But that’s all changing. Now people want to be remembered. A funeral is their last major event and they want to look good for it. I’ve even had people say, ‘I want you to get rid of my wrinkles and make me look younger’.”

“I’ve had people mention that they want their breasts to look perky when they’re dead,” says David Temrowski, funeral director of Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home in Warren, Mich. “Or they’ll say, ‘Can you get these wrinkles out?’ It’s all in humor, but I think people do think [more] about what they’re going to look like when they’re dead and lying in a casket.”

“My brother’s a plastic surgeon and I joke with him all the time that funeral directors were doing Botox long before any doctor thought of using it,” says John Vigliante, owner and manager of the Branch Funeral Home in Smithtown, N.Y. “Or at least we use a material that’s similar. We‘ll inject tissue fillers into the lips, the nose, the cheeks, above the eyebrows, the chin, and the hands. It’s the same concept as Botox and dermal filler.” … Lips are plumped, cheeks are filled and contoured, and hollowed hands are injected with filler to give them what Vigliante calls “a nice fuller appearance.”

Read the full article at here.

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