If only they knew…

Charles 5 Comments

There’s a new blog over in the US which describes itself as “a revealing look from beneath the veil of silence. The purpose of this blog is to bring truth to funeral consumers, which is often masked by an industry driven by profits. What makes this site different? The creator is a licensed funeral director & embalmer who, after many years in the profession, became disenchanted with many of the tactics and unethical practices of the industry.”

It probably doesn’t tell any readers of this blog anything they didn’t already know. It’s revealing all the same.

The practice of embalming polarises opinions like nothing else. For all its ungentleness its best practitioners are some of the gentlest and most caring people in the deathcare industry.

In his latest post, the blog’s author, Mark DeSteffan, discusses embalming with the aid of video clips. Well worth reading. But here’s a caution: don’t watch the clips unless you’ve got an especially strong stomach.

How much should funeral consumers know about what goes on in a funeral director’s mortuary? For those who reject embalming, how much do they need to know about how the mouth is closed?

What constitutes informed consent?

Find the Business of Death blog here.

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Death Matters
13 years ago

Phew, Charles, I watched the closing of the mouth video on his site. More than enough, I will save the others for tomorrow and the next days’ “momenti mori”…. Seeing these sterile technical procedures being performed so coldly and mechanically on what was once a warm, live person is shocking to the vanity! These images are so much more forceful than in any forensic show or war movie – real death has not lost any of its power to scare the hell out of us. I am definitely left bothered thatmy body will end up as cold and useless as… Read more »

Charles Cowling
13 years ago

Yes, I hope the same, DM!

Shocking, those clips, aren’t they? I’m surprised more readers haven’t made similarly aghast comments.

Thanks for calling by. You always have something interesting and thought provoking to say to us.

13 years ago

No aghast comments from me Charles because I’m simply too chickensh*t to watch ANY of it!

Charles Cowling
13 years ago

Your innate squeamishness is a good friend to you, GM. Steer well clear.

13 years ago

I have been present throughout an embalming and have to say that I was not at all distressed by any of the procedures – don’t know what that says about me!! I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, the ability and demeanour of the individual embalmer can make a huge difference to the overall experience. I think you need to see this procedure performed ‘live’ (so to speak) before making a judgement.