Countless times in my life I’ve seen things once seen that can’t be unseen no matter how hard I try. When these moments happen I can feel my brain take pictures.. Little highlights to resurface here and there in my daiky roladex of flashing memories broken in pieces. When I see these fragments I’m right there seeing or experiencing it again. I saw things differently once that happens you can’t regain blissful ignorance.
I came to work that day like no other, suit, coffee, shoes shined and up to the office to review and plot the days new calls, funerals, arrangements, cremations and embalming was my area so I checked each file for stats and instructions for image, shave no shave, hair dye? Nails? Everything you can think of we dress you the way you would dress yourself all details included. As I open a file I see the age,,, oh fuck 4months old,, stomach always flips at the young, nature is cruel and real not only in the wild but in our civilization. It’s so sad at times seeing these things and being there to complete their last rights, proper closure selected. I’m human and my first instinct at the sight of a baby is to pick them up this does not change deceased or not.
Id laid a few children to rest and it’s the most un natural of things and I was able to find answers science is science heart attack, stroke, car accident these are all reasons even though disturbing its fact. The cause of death jumped off the medical in my hands. SIDS… This was just a fear placed in any persons mind about tiny children who die in their sleep for no reason, so rare and so horrifying, it’s real, very real and it’s a experience I’ve never been able to put away fully. How does something so perfect just go?
As i placed my fingers around the body bag zipper my head back I akwYs need to disconnect and prepare to logically asses my job and make the appropriate decisions I’m trained to do for each case, no emotions its best to not think about it. I never would walk away from any case, I made it very personal to assure a grieving person gets closure therefore my area of specialty in the Funeral Profession is Embaling. As I unzip I see this perfect, beautiful, healthy chubby little baby, not a flaw in sight. I place my hand under his little fuzzy head and another under his bottom, gently I place him on a blanket and prepare my chemical selection and lay out my tools. I kept a wee radio barely on playing a bit of soft music, it’s a focus tool to do your job without personal thought. Well it does not work when it comes to children, the whole experience is gut wrenching. As the embalming process is completed I bathe his wee body, powder his bum and do up the tiny diaper I hold up his pjs and the yellow duckies all running made me connect again, I’m a woman,, I’m a soft heart but I know my career is needed and good. I wrap him up and close up for the night. Usually work stays at work, I can move along from work to a pub for a few drinks no problem but that day is burned in my mind. The day I first held my son that image flashed, as it did every nap, sleep and cold until he was 2. I know it’s abserd to everyone that I slept with my babies the first year, no no it’s not cause I do not trust anything not even death it has no boundaries it takes what and when it wants. No answers.