One of the things I love about working with the deceased is thinking about the person and who they are. One of the funeral directors that visit us always come in with a little booklet for each person, and at the front is a little blurb which can be so detailed sometimes. I always make a point of reading it to find out if they liked gardening, or toy trains, or had three children and 18 grandchildren or something. The guys coming in think it’s a bit weird but really it’s nice to just know a little bit more about them, or maybe I’m just nosey!
Sometimes from families we get requests. One of the first viewings I helped with, the lady there asked that the person she was visiting was kept wrapped up in a duvet in the fridge because he didn’t like the cold. I’ve heard a story too where somebody came in with a torch for their relative because they didn’t like the dark. This week we had one such request, that we played one gentleman’s favourite song. The gentleman in question was originally from Iran, so I had my first taster of Persian music.
I can honestly say that it was a pretty cool song and had me dancing in the office, it doesn’t matter that I had no idea what the song is about or what the lyrics are. Added bonus that someone was playing an accordion in it and I have a bit of a soft spot for accordion players. Funnily enough and relating to this, I had a weird thought before when we were playing music by Queen in the post-mortem room that it would be very unfortunate if any of the deceased in there had a deep dislike of the band. Each one of the people taking up residence in the fridge might have loved classical music, or rap, or electro-pop, or could have hated music entirely.
One thing people always ask on the phone is for us to please look after their relatives and I always found this a bit odd before. Only because I kind of thought along the lines of what else would we do, of course we look after them! However I think I understand now that they’re not referring to our jobs, they’re referring to the smaller but more important aspects. Like wrapping that duvet around the person who always felt the cold. Leaving a light on for the one who hated the dark. Playing their favourite song for them to hear one last time. I believe people should not be afraid to ask for things like this. I think I will request I have something to hug in my arms, a cushion or a cuddly toy. I’m always hugging something, quite often a cat, and I think in death this should be no different. Although maybe not a cat with me in there ancient Egyptian style, I’m not planning on mummifying them.
Or maybe I could mummify one of them to be a forever pet…
Do you have anything you think you would like to have with you in the fridge? Let me know! Thank you for reading and any questions please do get in touch! I recently had a questions about our booking in process and how it works so I think I’ll do a long post about that next, watch this space and stay safe in the snow if you are in the UK!