Caleb Wilde

Caleb Wilde

(220 comments, 847 posts)

I'm a sixth generation funeral director. I have a grad degree in Missional Theology and a Certification in Thanatology.

And I like to read and write.

Connect with my writing and book plans by "liking" me on facebook. And keep tabs with my blog via subscription or twitter.

Posts by Caleb Wilde

When death is a friend

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They say, “She’s at rest.”

Their bald mother lays with distorted breast.

Breasts that fed

Removed.

Arms that held

Motionless.

Her warm smile

Her voice

Her love

Locked in the vault of the soul.

Her children’s liminality has ended.

Today, they are only parents

They can throw away the adult diapers

The myriad of pills and medical terms.

The night watch.

Both relief and grief

As they say “she’s at peace.”

Ten years she battled.

Vomiting.

Fatigue.

Incontinence.

Tears and more tears mingled with fear.

Doctors, doctors and — as it spread — more doctors.

“She battled for us” they said.

“For her grandchildren and children”

The end wasn’t met with a fight

But embraced

Because death was the savior.

Death the midwife of peace and freedom

From the pains of a broken body.

“We are at peace”, they say

After a last look, they walk away.

“I don’t want to see her body!”

“I can’t, I can’t!” screams the 30 year old mother of two

with trembling body and clouded mind.

Her grandmother, once familiar, now foreign.

Hands cold, lips shut.

Eyes closed with glue.

A body that once embodied love

now fear.

Once comfort, now pain.

Her parents urge her again . . .

“I don’t want to see her!”

The protestations echo though the walls and down to our bones

 

“What’s going on?” “WHATS GOING ON?!”

asks the protester’s two year old daughter.

Her small voice isn’t lost in the noise.

Her four-year-old brother quickly hugs her

and whispers

“It’s okay”

She finds calm in his arms.

 

I listen.

I watch.

Waiting.

The stampede of grief settles like dust.

The two year old drops her crackers on the floor.

Her protesting mother picks them up one by one

“Let me throw them out.” I say.

“You never know what kind of germs are on a funeral home floor.”

The humor finds a small crack

that allows laughter instead of tears.

A kind word and a touch of humor.

A moment later, she straightens her back.

Wipes her face.

Grabs the hands of her children

She walks to the casket.

Listening to the screams of a bereaved mother

I write this as I’m listening to a mother frantically scream, “That’s my baby!!!” as she views the body of her deceased 24 year old son for the first time since his death.  She’s kicking

screaming

stomping

weeping.

I write this as my own therapy … it’s hard to listen to.  It must be harder to be her.  I can’t imagine.

A Jewish couple who met in school, they were unable to have any kids of their own so they adopted what became their only son, now snatched away from an overdose.

Cold.

Limp.

Unnatural.

Helpless.

My dad comes over to me.  We stare at each other for about 30 seconds in silence before he says, “Any mother would do that…”  It’s hard to listen to.  There’s nothing to say at these times, yet everything wants to be said.

*As with all my posts, circumstances, dates and details have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

When “I’m Sorry” isn’t enough. An apology for the misdeeds of the funeral profession.

A scene from the  Tri-State Crematory

A scene from the Tri-State Crematory

We’ve screwed up.

Committed sacrilege.

Tri- State crematory. 

334 uncremated bodies left to the elements and the animals making us look like monsters.

Two mummified babies found in the ceiling tiles of a funeral home.

Jessica Mitford.

The FTC. The Funeral Rule.

The price gouging. The emotional exploitation.

“I’m sorry” isn’t enough.

Even we can’t bury these dead bones.

One bad apple … but it hasn’t been just one.

A corporate guilt we must all eat.

I’ve been honest.  Most of us have been honest.

Compassionate to a fault.

Honorable. Transparent.

But the guilt is stitched on our chest like Hester Prynne.

We cover the letter with suits and ties

and fear and over-blown self-importance and self loathing and defensiveness.

“I’m sorry” isn’t enough.

When we earn your trust.

When we treat you fair.

When we act with compassion

When you see us, not as funeral directors

but as family.

Our service offers hope for redemption.

because “I’m sorry” isn’t enough.

 

Digging up Grandma’s remains so you can sell her grave

Grave plots are property.

When cemeteries become full, that property’s value can skyrocket.  Supply and demand.

And when you’re hurting for money, and your grandmother’s remains are buried in said property, YOU DON’T SELLOUT GRANDMA!

That is, unless you’re the guy who just dug up grandma so he could sell her grave.

A Darwin, Australia man has dug up his buried grandmother and cremated her body so he could sell off her burial plot for spare cash.

This was revealed by NT News with further reports that Darwin City Council have been discussing whether to review the Cemetery Act, alderman Gary Haslett said.

Mr Haslett said a ‘black market’ has emerged as there are locals who were ‘dying to be buried’ at the city’s general cemetery.

It is unknown which cemetery the Darwin man sold his grandmother’s burial plot, however Darwin General Cemetery is at capacity with the exception of grave sites which were bought in advance.

You can read more HERE.

 

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