Sunday, August 26, 2018

I'm Becoming a Mortician || Here's Why


I have to admit I'm probably not the best as sharing my personal life and feelings - even to those who are close to me. I could sit here and blame it on my astrological sign (Scorpio) but, lets be honest it's just a me thing. I've never been one to share my views or feelings unless I'm directly asked because I just always thought they were just ideas/feelings that are important to me but no one else would be particularly interested BUT, this new journey into becoming a mortician is something I really wanted to share. So sit down and get ready to read some things about me and my feelings about death and funeral services.


From an early age I've always felt a draw and empathetic connection to death - not to mistake that for the desire to die or anything like that, I just always thought of it as an important chapter of life for both the decedent and the loved ones who are left behind to mourn. In death I believe the life of the deceased should be honored and celebrated. A funeral service and all that it entails (regardless of which type ceremony you choose to use) in my eyes is almost like a thank you to the deceased for all they have done and contributed to in the lives of those they left behind. A 'farewell party' for lack of a better and more appropriate term. The person has given you so much love and so many memories and now it's time to wish them good luck in their afterlife where they will hopefully find serenity. 

Now for those left behind I also feel like the funeral service can be an important part closure - for some (not all) people have to view their loved one a last time to solidify what has transpired. For me (in an open casket scenario) this means making sure that the decedent looks as natural and soft as possible so that their loved ones still can see that familiar warmth emanating from them as they say their final goodbyes. For me this is an extremely important part of the funeral service experience because obviously people want to see their loved ones looking like themselves as much as possible. For anyone who has lost someone and has seen them poorly laid out knows exactly what I'm talking about... they look casket ready. 'Casket Ready' usually refers to someone looking pale or grey and not at all like themselves (not the way you want to see a loved one for the last time or at any time really -- it's also a term for when your foundation is way too light and you look like you're no longer alive.)  

I want to end the negative stigma around the term 'casket ready' and make everyone that I prepare for viewing look as much like they are just sleeping as possible - soft features and a natural flush to the complexion. I'm hoping that my experience as a makeup artist will really help me in this department and I think the makeup and overall body preparations that I do for viewings will be some of my most important cosmetic jobs of all time. I want their loved ones last look at them to be a beautiful and positive moment for them that they will always remember.

I'm what you would probably call "death positive" because although it is a sad experience I think it's something to be celebrated and I'd like to try to help others become more okay and comfortable with the idea of death and accepting of it as a part of our journey. I don't know how many times I can say celebration of life but that is exactly what I'm in the business for - to celebrate life and make the experience as beautiful as I can for everyone involved. 

As a side piece to this whole thing I'd like to hopefully one day be able to revive victorian hair jewelry practices and be able to give little memorial pieces of some sort to the families for whom I do funerals. For example I framed prayer card from my grandmother's funeral with a portrait of the Virgin Mary and keep a bouquet of dried roses from her viewing in a vase as a memorial to her. (Obvs. the the cover photo for this blog - tell me what you think- do you think people would be interested in items like that)

I hope I explained myself well and maybe I'll do updates on my mortuary journey if anyone is interested in coming with me on this new adventure.