How Many Have Dealt With A Dead Human Body?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Don Alaska, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    Has anyone dealt with a dead human body outside a funeral, such as an accident, death at home, or even a hospital death? Was it unexpected? How did it affect you and how did it affect your thoughts about death?
     
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  2. Mary Robi

    Mary Robi Very Well-Known Member
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    I have. I washed and dressed my mother before she was taken away by the funeral home people. She had picked out the outfit and accessories she wanted to be dressed in. My mother always liked to look her best and we honored that wish.

    Other than that, I spent about an hour with my late husband's body at the hospital, saying goodbye to him. Same thing with my sister's body.
     
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  3. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Veteran Member
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    I have personally embalmed several hundred dead bodies . They are gone and no longer exist except in the minds of their survivors.
     
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  4. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    I have only seen dead bodies in caskets; never had to deal with one outside of a funeral setting.

    My mother used to tell me stories about when she was a little girl, when a family member died they were laid out on the kitchen (or dining room) table and cleaned up by the family women. She said sometimes the bodies would be there for days, until the smell was too much. No funeral home or embalming back then; just dress the body in their finest and built a pine box. I always wondered what it was like to eat supper on that table after "Uncle Bob" was finally buried.
     
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  5. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    I forgot when I began this thread that Lon was an embalmer in a previous life. I brought it forward since I have been told how awful it is to discover a body. I can understand when it is someone you know, especially a child. I once knew an EMT who had seen many dead body in association with his job, but when he got called to a hit-and-run and discovered his 7-year old daughter was the victim, it destroyed him. My first experience with a body outside a funeral was finding a 19-year old with half his head missing from being thrown through a windshield and dragged along the pavement in the dark. The two guys with me couldn't deal with it, but it had almost no effect on me, so I stayed with the body while they went for help. This was before cell phones, as I was 16 yo at the time. Second body was an autopsy on a murder victim. I was about 19 at that time.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I was a paramedic for twenty years and I was really bad at my job, so yeah...

    When I first became an EMT, it was common for ambulances to transport bodies to the funeral home. That was way creepier than those whose lives we were still trying to bring back, and that was a practice that I severed once I became EMS director, as it made no sense for our only ambulance, at the time, to be tied up transporting a body to the funeral home when the funeral homes had vehicles for just that purpose.

    When I worked EMS at South Padre Island, Texas, we had to walk through the morgue in order to get to our station, and that was sometimes creepy too.

    As a child, I felt obligated to go up and view my mother's body in the casket and I have always wished I hadn't done that. As an adult, I chose not to view my father's body.

    As a paramedic, we responded to a cardiac arrest in which we were unable to revive the patient. It wasn't until after we had arrived at the hospital that my partner told me that our patient was his father.
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Yeah, I guess one could say that I’ve seen, carried and produced dead people. nuff said.
     
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  8. Tex Dennis

    Tex Dennis Veteran Member
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    With my career in LE I saw many of all ages, also military, did not enjoy it but did it, when dad and I were attacked I guessed the attackers 2 of 3 were dead but did not know for sure until EMT's arrived and overheard them talking. Also was with both parents and daughter when they passed, hope I never do it again.
     
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  9. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    I don't believe I have ever seen a body outside of a funeral/viewing, although I did go with a sister to see my older brother's body in the back room of the funeral home before he was cremated.

    I've had relatives die of natural causes and cancers, but I was not there when it happened.

    It's funny how off-putting it is to be in the vicinity of a corpse...there's a natural aversion to it.
    Viewings are different...they are in "controlled" or "structured" settings specific to that purpose.
     
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  10. John Brunner

    John Brunner Veteran Member
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    Kind of leads to a different topic on how we're removed from normal life events in our culture these days (deaths and marriages) and so much gets contracted out. I would not only wonder about using the table afterwards, I would also wonder about how comforting the living might find it to know that's how they are going to be cared for, rather than being whisked away by a hired hand to be subjected to some unknown, foreign process in a strange setting during their last moments on Earth.
     
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  11. Trevalius Guyus

    Trevalius Guyus Well-Known Member
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    I had to break out a bedroom window to gain access, so we could view my mil. She was in her bed, very purple, very dead. A half-gallon of cheap vodka was at her head. She was 56.

    As a ten year old, I heard a little squeal, down the street, and then came up to the location to find a neighbor, with her head squished flat, into the street, her brain had popped out, and had slid about ten feet from her body. She was run over by a bus as she backed up, when the light changed, as she crossed. She was in her 80's, I believe. This was before busses had the full length front windows. I didn't eat the spaghetti dinner my mom had made, that night.

    Both experiences, as above, I took in stride. Death is part of life, no more, no less.

    I do not go to funerals. I don't believe in the concept of closure, where they're concerned. My only experience, viewing my waxy grandfather, when I was five, was ghastly.
     
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  12. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    Must've been quite a shock as a 10-year old.
     
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  13. Trevalius Guyus

    Trevalius Guyus Well-Known Member
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    Other than passing on that spaghetti dinner, I took it in stride, as previously written.
     
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  14. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    Only at open casket funerals.
     
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  15. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Very Well-Known Member
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    Thrice.
    My downstairs neighbor light was on for three days running. I peaked in and he was dead at the table. Kinda funny. Called the cops and the landlord. Now it was obvious from ten feet away through the window that this guy was dead..Cops arrived and Billy Bad Ass commenced to trying to kick in the door. Apartment house was a converted church, doors were three inches thick. A minute later landlord showed up with the keys.
    My brother in law dropped dead on his kitchen floor and we sat with him till the coroner arrived.
    My mother when she passed of natural causes.
     
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