Guest Posts

TO THOSE INQUIRING ABOUT GUEST POSTING ON MY SITE:

If you’re a blogger or a writer, or someone who just likes to share your experiences, and you think you have a piece that would fit this blog, I’d be happy to host you.

In fact, I’m always looking for guest posts.

If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ve probably figured out that I generally post on topics related to death.  If you’ve experienced the death of a loved one, and would like to share, this is the place.  If you’ve experienced a funeral, and have some thoughts about it, this is the place to share.

Here are some general rules for guest posts:

1.) I don’t like posts over 1,000 words, unless it’s a narrative piece.

2.) If you’d like to guest post, have an idea in mind, or a piece already written before you contact me.  I don’t mind recycled posts that you’ve already used on your own blog.

3.) I reserve the right to edit and/or reject your piece.

4.) Finally, on the day I post it, I ask you to help in the promotion.

If we’re not already friends on facebook or twitter, you can email me at caleb.wilde@gmail.com.  Title your email as “Guest Post”.  If you don’t hear back from me, that’s my way of saying, “I don’t think your piece fits here.”

 

  • Colin Firth

    Life Celebration Weekend in North America

    In Mexico, el Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is celebrated from October 31 to November 2nd. This celebration is not meant to be a conclusion of a life but rather a continuation – a time to remember family members and friends who have touched our lives. Gravestones are adorned with flowers and candles, toys are brought for deceased children and tequila for the adults. Families spend the days together, keeping their loved ones’ memories alive.

    Society’s views of death are slowly changing. People are finally realizing that a funeral shouldn’t be a tearful and somber affair but rather one that celebrates a life lived. With inspiration from the theme of the Mexican festival two special event days have also been added to the calendar.

    This “Life Celebration Weekend” includes two special days that together will bring families and friends together to think about the past and plan for the future. “Plan a Great Funeral Day” on October 30th is a day that is meant to encourage people to create a personal sendoff that will celebrate their lives and to inform those close to them of their wishes so family members aren’t burdened with funeral planning while in mourning. “Visit a Cemetery Day” on October 29th is being introduced to motivate family members and friends to visit special grave sites to honor their loved ones and to take the time to celebrate the continuation of their lives in memories.

    So take time out to visit your local cemetery with your family or friends during this “Life Celebration Weekend”. Clean up a gravesite, plant bulbs for the spring, light candles, place flowers and messages and talk about how you want to celebrate your life. Visit mysendoff.com for help in creating your own personalized sendoff.

    For more information please visit http://www.mysendoff.com or email media@mysendoff.com

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  • Gene

    Obviously, there is something wrong with an individual who professes to be interested in many religions, but who ignores Judaism as something he graphically characterises as “devil worshiping”.
    If Caleb really is as open minded and wants to expound on various religions, he should include Judaism which has made significant contribution to the foundations of what he as a Christian believes.
    And second; the survey asking “would you choose cremation over embalming” is ridiculous.
    In Judaism, it is well known that neither is acceptable. After the washing and purification by prayer, the body is dressed in a muslin or linen shroud and placed in a pine wood container and buried in a grave within a 24 hour period. Caleb forgets that there is a third option.

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  • Sarah Lee-Ellena

    Oh, you hit the nail on the head about life of a funeral director. I tell my people we are actors and that we are on a stage. When the audience shows up and calls for us, no matter what shape we are in, the show must go on. Liked your comment about wearing a suit in 90 degree heat. I’ve been searching for suits without that damn hot nylon lining — have had to rip them out. In the winter, it’s long underwear. Otherwise, my other tip is to stand under a tree at the cemetery. Still, I feel honored to have been chosen for funeral service. Sarah Lee Lee-Ellena Funeral Home. lee-ellenafuneralhome.com

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  • Ed Yanez

    I’m a license plate Collector from Chile and have one Hearse plate from this Country.
    Do you like to get it ?
    Greetings from this Corner of the World.
    Ed Yanez

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  • Julia Oliver

    Are you descended from a Caleb Wilde (pronounced will dee) who lived in Valhalla, NY, in the 1940’s or earlier, and who is buried in Buckhout Cemetery in White Plains, NY?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/edith.gprincess Edith GPrincess

    So I am a new student in the Funeral Program in Ontario….yes the infamous Humber College. I would really like some advise on how to stand out and secure an internship? I feel like this has been my calling for the last 6 years. however the teachers really like to lay it in to us that majority of us are going to fail or not get internships here….any advise? should I just run scared with my coccyx between my legs….should I start seeing a shrink? or should I see my doctor and get some valium perscribed asap. Postive advise would be wonderful….
    thanks.

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    • Caleb Wilde

      I would start attempting to make connections to a couple funeral home right now. Make some cold calls to local homes, let them know you’re in school and offer them your services. Maybe they need weekend help, or help with night removals. Whatever you can do to get your foot in the door. If you want start working for a funeral home now, there’s a likelihood they will hire you when you’re fully licensed.

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  • an informed observer

    The general public does not realize that so little education is required to become a funeral director. 90% of the work performed by a funeral director can be performed by a wedding planner. Aside from embalming, it’s a clerical and event planning job. The fact that school teachers make considerably more money than most employees (including “fully licensed funeral directors”) speaks volumes about the trade (notice I don’t call it a profession). Filing paper work, selling overpriced merchandise that will soon be buried and making sure the funeral home is clean do not require any special skill. The fact that so many of these people view themselves as pillars in the community and providing some sort of sacred service is hilarious.

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    • Joseph Plumber

      Imformed observer, you are seriously misinformed about the funeral business. Caleb does much more than doing clerical work. There is a recent article posted online, showing Caleb performing what we in the business know as a “First Call”. That’s when you receive the first call from the family, asking you to pick up their loved one. You, as the person performing the “First Call”, are the first one to make contact with the family in most cases. How you handle that “First Call” is what makes a first and lasting impression on the family. It’s not always an easy job to do, especially when the family’s loved one passed away very unexpectedly, and especially if the loved one is a child. Dealing with a bereaved family who has just lost a child is by far the hardest call to deal with. It cuts right through your own heart, right to your very soul. You have to hold it together for their sake, while reassuring them that their little loved one will be handled as though you were handling your own child.
      There are many other aspects of the the funeral business that Caleb deals with besides pushing papers and selling caskets. I seriously doubt that you could handle doing Caleb’s job for even one day, let alone for most of your adult life. Caleb and many others who are in the funeral business, perform so many tasks, especially those who are fortunate enough to be involved with a Family run business and not a corporate one. In addition to First Calls, embalming and preparation of the body, sometimes reconstructive cosmetic work is required, such as for someone who died from some form of a violent act, or as a result of an accident. For a family to be able to see their loved one, one last time and say their goodbyes, especially when that loved one died unexpectedly, it means the world to them when they are able to do so because they were fortunate enough to have a funeral home full of people who really care and are professional in every sense of the word.
      There are so many other aspects of the business that Caleb handles at the home, but I think by now that you might be getting the picture. So please, the next time you feel the urge to badmouth someone and or their profession, at least take the time to learn exactly it is that they do BEFORE opening thy mouth.

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    • Brittany Featherstone

      Comforting a family in their time of need and grieving and helping them through a process they probably know nothing about does in fact require skill. A honed skill in interpersonal communication. I think it’s ludicrous to you because you probably don’t have any. That’s putting it bluntly.

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    • OddFellow

      I am a mortuary sciences student, 3/4 the way through my schooling. My state requires I attain an associates degree from 1 of 2 colleges within 100 miles of my home. I go to the closest, 45 miles away. The minimum passing grade in any course is 75..not 65 as in many colleges. If I miss 2 classes, regardless of grades, I fail. If I score below a 75 on my final, regardless of final average in the class, I fail. My college program is accelerated to allow me minimum time in school, but I only have 4 classes before I take a mid term exam for any class, then another 4 classes until finals. If you think you can be an idiot and pass any of these courses in 10 weeks, feel free to come down to a mortuary college. When you get handed a medical textbook used by 3rd year medical students as your introductory textbook and have to study 16 hours a week for 2 classes, you can tell me how easy it is. We have had people holding masters degrees and nursing degrees fail out of our school.

      In my state, a doctor only has to score a 55/100 on a 200 question test to get their medical license. I have to score a 75/100 on a 400 question exam, and serve an apprenticeship where I actually have to be able to successfully embalm 50 people, and I have to embalm in front of the state licensing board. In addition, I have to know every single federal and state guideline regarding the funeral profession.

      AND I need to be a caring enough person to not hold it against you that clearly you fear what you do not understand and instinctively lash out due to some misconception of what we do.

      Hopefully you will take what I have said to heart and you will realize that this is a profession that someone has to do.Doctors don’t make your last house call, a funeral director does.

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    • Steve Suehiro

      You are speaking from a place of pure ignorance of what it takes to be a funeral director. Yes there are systems management and event planning aspects which are similar to other professions but there are also a multitude of other responsibilities that not just anyone can carry out tirelessly every single day.
      It is far more than just a clerical job. Having the people skills to be able to counsel a family at what is ostensibly the worst time of their lives, to be able to read their non-verbal cues and respond accordingly, to be able to take their hand and escort them through the darkness and get them to a place where they can start to heal are things that you cannot learn in a classroom. These skills take real world experience, and you either have this ability or you do not.
      Clearly you do not realize the responsibility that funeral directors have to routinely shoulder. Unlike a clerical worker, the stakes are extremely high. You have only one chance to produce and execute the perfect funeral – and yes the expectation someone has for their loved one’s funeral is nothing short of perfection. Unlike a wedding- which most people today will have more than one in their lifetime, sadly – a funeral is a one time deal. A clerical worker makes a clerical error which can be corrected. A funeral director gets every aspect of the funeral perfect and everything is ruined by one element not working out – the florist brought the wrong arrangement, the clergy was late or rude, the newspaper omitted part of the obit – these are things that are outside of the direct control of the director, yet inevitably the director is the one who has to deal with a family member who feels that the director ruined his or her loved one’s funeral. We are as a group underpaid for what we do, and most of us stay in the profession because it is a calling to us and not just a mere means to earn a paycheck.
      Perhaps you had an experience that led you to be negative about those in the funeral industry. If this is the case, please be aware that not all funeral homes or directors have the same level of commitment to their profession.

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  • shawn scott

    the picture of the three officers hugging on your webpage with the caption under them that reads”These police were apparently some of the first on the scene of the Newtown shootings.” Is NOT from the Connecticut shootings, its from a Law enforcements officers funeral a year or so ago, although I am sure there were many of tears shed due to the horrific scene that all the responders had to witness and my prayers go out to them and the families and everyone that was affected by such violence, but this photo and these officers have nothing to do with Connecticut , police do not respond in their class A’s wearing gloves! the photo is from Fallen officer 2011 November I believe !

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    • Joseph Plumber

      There was a shooting involving a Newtown, Pa. Police K-9 Officer. Very tragic, as he left behind a wife and children. His K-9 Partner was retired and presented to the family, and will spend the rest of his K-9 life looking after them.

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      • disp448

        I believe you are incorrect also. The department was Plymouth twp. Officer fox was murdered and his k-9 was wounded and now lives with the widow and 2 small children.

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  • Mel Ramsay

    Hiya, my name’s Mel Ramsay. I’m a freelance journalist from the UK. I’m looking for a funeral director/someone who works in the funeral business who has an interesting hobby/unusual life outside the funeral home. For example, I was speaking to a woman who is a funeral director by day and a burlesque dancer by night. If you know of anyone, please let me know. Their hobby doesn’t necessarily have to be something that they still do now, I’d just like to write about their life. This website is fantastic, by the way. If you are interested, please email me at melanie.ramsay@live.co.uk (I really hope this isn’t classed as advertising because I’d hate to break your rules, Caleb!) Thank you very much.

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  • Tom Jensen

    I like your writing! and recommended/linked to your blog on our christian network and facebook group, hope it’s okay, and maybe you wil do the same.
    keep up the good work.

    http://www.christianonnet.com

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  • Eduardo C. Gonzalez

    nice write ups and they are very interesting.
    http://www.beliefasia.net
    God bles

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  • LADYGOLD

    Hello Caleb.. I need to know if I properly ‘buried’ my cats. First of all, I am an amateur Egyptologist and my whole house is in ancient Egyptian decor. Therefore, when all 3 of my cats eventually died, I did something unusual. I couldn’t bear cremating them, so I had the vet freeze them until I could prepare their ‘tombs’. I found a statuary place that made ancient Egyptian cat statues. When bringing home my frozen cat, I prepared my cat (but NOT truly mummifying it) by wrapping it in its favorite blanket with her favorite toy, some Egyptian amulets and a little note to her. Then I put them inside a Space Bag whereby one vacuums out all the air, and then brought the cat down to the statuary place where they put the sealed cat inside a cement base, poured in the cement and sealed it. I then placed the ancient Egyptian cat statue on top of the base and they now rest in my garden.

    No air, bugs or anything can get inside, so what I’m curious about is whether they will really be preserved in fairly good condition? I am just hoping that someday way in the future, if anyone ever finds these, they will find my cats as they died, more or less ‘immortal’. It’s been over 10 years now and I just can’t help wondering what condition they are in and will they stay intact?

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  • Joseph Plumber

    Caleb, in regards to the article about cell phones and people who don’t turn them off during a visitation or a celebration of life service, allow me to make a recommendation to you and others in the funeral business. There are excellent cell phone signal jammers available for about $300.00. There are cheaper ones, but remember, you get what you pay for. You want one that covers all spectrums of the cell phone service, including 4gLTE and 3g service, and also Wimax. You also want to insure that if you have an internet Wi-Fi system set up at the funeral home, that it’s using an encrypted password system, so those with smart phones will NOT be able to access the internet when the rest of the signals are jammed. All the FD has to do, is to turn the device on at the beginning of a visitation or celebration of life service, and leave it on until the visitation or the service is over with. Posting a sign at the entrance to the chapel of the visitation room helps to let those in attendance know that the signals are being jammed. Here’s a link for a web site the sells jammers, and there are others out there as well. http://www.cellphonejammermall.com/

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    • lotzakids

      One caveat, sometimes those attending services must be able to be contacted. A year ago, my father-in-law passed away. The day after he died, my son was rushed to the hospital with bacterimia (staph infection in his blood). While he was stable by the time we held services, he was still in the hospital, in fact, receiving his PICC line. I NEEDED to be able to be reached if something went downhill. I was needed in two places, and had to chose which one needed me more. Some of us actually need our cell phones on, and available all the time. Of course, we may also be the ones who are more careful about putting them on vibrate since we’re so aware of them.

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  • Jenny the Pirate

    Hi, not to nitpick but I’m sure in #3 you meant to say “If you don’t HEAR back from me …” LOL peace

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  • Conventional Wisdom

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eZGjnYIYsQ This program asks the question which is really a bigger leap of faith, belief in God or evolution.

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  • Jenn Berry

    I’ve just stumbled upon this site out of pure luck….or fate, or whatever has put me here.
    I too am a Funeral Director and want to say thank you for helping take away the “old man undertaker” image and helping replace it with today’s reality. Everyday it’s a challenge for me as a feminine woman in this business.
    Never in my life have I worked where I felt I belong until becoming an FD. A place where every day is different and every day I’m making a difference and helping a family in their darkest hour.
    Things are done very differently here in Hawaii than on the mainland. The spiritual experience here is beyond anything I have ever seen. Hula at the casket, ukulele played softly by a child, flowers upon flowers and leis upon leis. Tradition and family run deep here on the Islands.
    It’s breathtaking and awe inspiring to be apart of a funeral with 2000 people…chanting Hawaiian prayers, presenting leis and doing a hula that brings tears to your eyI’ve just stumbled upon this site out of pure luck….or fate, or whatever has put me here.
    I too am a Funeral Director and want to say thank you for helping take away the “old man undertaker” image and helping replace it with today’s reality. Everyday it’s a challenge for me as a feminine woman in this business.
    Never in my life have I worked where I felt I belong until becoming an FD. A place where every day is different and every day I’m making a difference and helping a family in their darkest hour.
    Things are done very differently here in Hawaii than on the mainland. The spiritual experience here is beyond anything I have ever seen. Hula at the casket, ukulele played softly by a child, flowers upon flowers and leis upon leis. Tradition and family run deep here on the Islands.
    It’s breathtaking and awe inspiring to be apart of a funeral with 2000 people…chanting Hawaiian prayers, presenting leis and doing a hula that brings tears to your eyes
    I love My life.

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  • Guest
    • Irma Torres

      PICTURE

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  • Robert L. Muratore

    Been a funeral director in Pa for the past 30 years. Love your site.

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  • Lance

    Hello. My name is lance brown. I am an artist living in Arlington tx. God has allowed me to excel in the field of art while being color blind and I’d love to share my testimony with your viewers. No matter what the obstacle god can help you to overcome it even when it seems impossible…. Please take a moment to view my videos. I use the talent that god has given me to glorify his name during worship services. I call it “spreading the gospel with paint”.

    http://youtu.be/SZ3OQLcpEmI

    http://youtu.be/A80KZlJ4rFU

    Please contact me at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you. God bless.

    http://www.paintedchrist.com

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  • Doro

    Hello Caleb. I just finished watching space cowboys… the hardbreaking szene where Col. William „Hawk“ Hawkins waits to his end sitting there lonely on the moon watching planet earth…(in case you don’t recall…http://youtu.be/H7AWQT4jwBQ) Do you know what happens to a corpse that is disposed on the moon. Will it decay or will it stay there forvever mummified because of lack of oxygen?

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  • A. Nony Mouse

    Hello, I found your website while doing a google search for “Adam Lanza Tombstone” and want to encourage everyone to do the same in order to view it, and see the date of his death: December 13th, 2012…..a full day in advance of the alleged shooting. Strange how both his death certificate and tombstone have this date on them. I also want to encourage you and your readers to see these same 20 children who were spotted alive and well with their parents and siblings at the super bowl in Feb of ’13:
    http://bit.ly/1cKYo3N

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  • Giselle

    Blessings to all, I just wish to share here about an event that is happening as we speak, a walk across America. If you, as a christian, wish to know more about the causes of this walk, go to http://www.walkthewalknow.com. Thank you very much for your kindness, in allowing me to post this important event here. We are dead in trespasses and sins, but Yahshua known as Jesus came to give us life and joy on this earth and eternal life in Heaven.

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  • John_QPublic

    Would you be interested in a post about a new movie that is sure to generate interest in the religious as well as non-religious parts of society. It is of most interest to Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, because it points back to early aspects of cosmology. Take a look at these articles:

    http://beforeitsnews.com/science-and-technology/2013/12/earth-is-in-special-location-in-universe-the-principle-documentary-2659044.html

    https://medium.com/we-are-in-a-special-place

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  • The Truth

    Re: Corporate vs. privately held…..Our funeral home in northern NH was arguably the best in our state. We were purchased by ECI, and things were pretty good as whole. Shortly thereafter, an announcement was made that ECI had been acquired by SCI :(Service Corporation International). In my opinion, this was a pre-ordained event; a ruse implemented to acquire funeral homes which would not sell to SCI under normal conditions. That seemed to me to reek of “insider trading”. The sellers of the funeral homes were afraid to collectively do anything about it, worrying that they would lose the money they were paid, and had already spent on luxury, and so forth. We would never had sold to SCI. To make a long story short, the funeral home which once had a sterling reputation is now only a shadow of what it once was.
    A couple years ago, it returned to private ownership, and has been trying to rebuild it’s reputation, but much damage has been done. In addition, the new owne, was informed almost two years after the sale, that there was an “error” in the transaction, and that the new owner must pay a handsome sum, or lose one of the funeral homes locations which is integral to the success of the firm. They ponied up with their high priced lawyers to intimidate the new owner not to fight it. He cannot afford to pay the amount they sought, so now the location is for sale by SCI. How can a sales transaction such as this be on the up and up? Legally, because of loophole, maybe, but morally this is just wrong. Talk about money grubbing. SCI could not compete in our small town America, so they dumped the funeral home, then even after out of the picture, they find a way to gouge the new owner, kicking him in the gut. Never consider the option of selling to a corporate funeral home. Not good for the public consumer or the funeral industry as a whole. There are those who mean for it to be an honorable profession.

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  • Kim

    This site is awesome!!!!! I work for Hospice and this is all very similar to my line of work and I love the information you provide, your sense of humor, and how you view your profession.

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  • Jeff Cooke

    Caleb, In a recent article, you mentioned that unless you are in a third world country, you should have little worry about being buried or cremated while still alive. Coul you expand on this a bit and does it EVER happen in the United States?
    3rd world issue, 1st world worry.

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  • Carissimo12

    Caleb, I wanted to write to you for a bit, but I felt a bit “limited.” A year ago I married a gentleman, a caring and quiet man who has been involved in your industry for 36 years. I knew full well when I married him that my life would change(He did not know that his would also! :-)
    In this last year, I have learned so very much about life…a perhaps odd comment when one considers your industry. I had searched on Facebook for “Funeral Director” that I might understand and support my husband.
    I was fortunate to find your page and to have enjoyed the laughter, the spirituality and now with this post of embalming, the technical aspect of your profession which you graciously share.
    In the end, I would like to thank you for the laughter, the tears and the deep understanding which you have provided to one person who wished to understand. Keep on keeping on. You truly increase lives by your work.
    Bryan J. Conti

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    • CalebWilde

      Bryan, thank you for your kind comment. I read it right before I crawled into bed and it provided a fantastic way to end my day :)

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  • Jennifer A

    I just finished reading this blog & I have to say that some the information was very useful….and interesting! :) Blog on Blogger :)

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  • Formalda-margaritta

    Thought this was straight up, so I created the meme for it.
    Background: Last night I had a house call and the police officers were sweating and complaining about their backs after volunteering to help pick up this (maybe) 200lb individual.

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    • Bert Blaine

      Yeah, It all depends on the Department.
      Many years ago all the funeral homes in my (then) area, and the coroner’s office got a letter from the Fire Chief that the local firemen would no longer help move bodies at death scenes because It was causing the department to much money/time (primarily in critical debriefing). The local coroner, a 30+ year Ambulance service owner (retired) was very upset. But I have worked in municipalities where one Phone call day or night and the Big boys would show up and do all the lifting, “Stand back, let us do it so no one gets hurt. where do you want him?”
      Here is hoping you all have nice fire/police departments with reasonable leadership, unions and insurance.

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  • Gary Collum

    Hey there, I work for a funeral home in Shreveport/Bossier City, LA…I’ve been working here 4 years and wish I had started this when I was much younger….I’m a licensed crematory operator now and a funeral assistant, and removal person…I am fascinated by your “Confessions” I’m on Facebook and I really enjoy your discussions….Thanks again

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  • Lora Pogue

    Hello Caleb, I googled “grief” and found your site. Thank goodness you’ve had the bravery (and humor) to write about a very touchy subject. We do need to start talking about death; and for those of us that are still here – coping with grief. All of my grandparents, my mother, sister, and close cousin have died. Grief and I are well acquainted. Your blog has helped me to realize I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing this, and God bless you and your family.

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  • Dorothy Morton

    So I got a call to come in and sign another piece of paperwork after my Mother’s death, and took off quickly, to take care of this before having to pick up grand kids from school. I get to the funeral home, and sign everything, and I keep catching the young guy looking at my chest area and grinning, then quickly looking away….as I walked away, I pass by a beautiful antique mirror, and with horror, realize why he was looking…here’s a pic of my t-shirt….;) lol!

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  • Miho Lai

    A special project run by a team in faith; support startups with heart. Pls. Support & Share!! Thank you!!

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/miho/gword-word-is-god

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  • Doc

    Check out our memorial options for lovers of skin art at savemyink.com

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  • jambalapaddington
  • Gregory

    Very good article.
    http://www.coffinsupplies.co.uk

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  • Alicia

    Handsome Stitchery creates Memory Bears, hand-stitched stuffed animals made from baby clothing, military uniforms, or any fabric items belonging to a loved one. These little stuffed bears can really help ease the suffering or pain of loss, death or terminal illness. Handsome Stitchery offers unique Memorial Gifts, specializing in Memory Bears and Memory Quilts. http://www.handsomestitchery.com/

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  • Terri

    Can you tell me if there is any reason someone could “not” be embalmed? I was told that someone who was deceased for more than a day or two was too badly decomposed to be embalmed? Is this true?

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  • Nigel Goodwin

    Through my experience as a funeral director I’ve found that people vastly underestimate and are very much ignorant to how much a funeral director does when it comes to burying peoples loved ones, I’ve been in the industry for 20 years now and it’s just as tiring and busy today as it was when I started! – Nigel Goodwin – http://www.doncasterfunerals.com

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