Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's my funeral and I'll cry if I want to.

When I works, I works hard.  No, I mean it.  Stop laughing.  Do I take my job seriously?  Serious as a heart attack.  Haha.   In fact, I get really anal in the days before the service.  I re-confirm the casket delivery.  I call the florist to make sure everything is on order.  I check with the church or the pastor.  Cemetery and vault on schedule?  If there is a DVD presentation I run it through the system to make sure there are no glitches.  You fuck up someone's funeral and there is no do-over.  (Unlike a wedding where most folks have more than one.)  I've learned one thing after doing this for a few years.  I don't like surprises.  99.9% of all surprises are bad.

Speaking of surprises.  Fagilyu Mukhametyanov, got the surprise of, when she woke up in a coffin surrounded by sobbing relatives.  Yeah, that would cause a bit of consternation, wouldn't it?  Fagilyu who was apparently grossly misdiagnosed as deceased, started screaming, fluttered her eyelids, went into shock and then cardiac arrest.  After the ensuing hijinks Fagilyu was rushed to the hospital but only lived for 12 minutes, until her doctor announced: "As doctor here I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead."  Whereupon he drove a stake through her heart just to be sure.  (This area in Russia is a mere 1200 miles from Transylvania, Romania so why take the chance?)  Fagilyu's husband, Fagili is going to sue, proving that the new Russia is taking to freedom quite nicely and getting more like the United States all the time.  (What are the odds that a woman named Fagilyu married a man named Fagili?  I was going to make a gay marriage joke here but I don't want to end up like Tracy Morgan.)

Fagilyu and Fagili (some un-pronouncable Russian surname.)
There is no evidence Fagili beat his wife despite the shirt. 

Not knowing if someone is dead or not is really a sloppy medical call.  I mean dead people really do look dead.  The mouth goes slack, the lips pull back over the teeth (or sink way in if the dentures are out) the eyes are half open and, oh yeah, the whole not breathing and getting stiff part are dead giveaways.  (Bad pun, sorry.)  At the funeral home we call this "Dead Face".  In the USA we rarely do anything but the shortest viewings or direct burials without embalming.  Dressing an unembalmed body can be unpleasant and they just look better.  Embalming obviously solves the problem of being buried alive since all your bodily fluids are replaced with embalming chemicals.  This is not a process that is survivable.   Emblaming is not ubiquitous in the rest of the world and some cultures consider the practice barbaric.  Take the dead and get them in the ground or on the fire as fast as possible is considered the respectful disposition.  We get ship-ins from Eastern European countries and the containers are soldered shut.  The embalmings are shitty and the bodies smell awful.  It's like opening a zombie's casket.   I remember one guy where they only embalmed the head.  Peeeuuuuu!

I guess the custom of a quick burial is OK, but on occasion you may hasten someone to the grave who's just having a really good sleep.  As for me, if I have a burial of an unembalmed person I may start sticking them in the foot with an icepick before casketing to see if they twitch.  Just to be on the safe side.

h/t Judy Leach

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