I Just Really Like Talking About Death

Has it been the longest week or what? Writes the person who has had nothing but short weeks forever and has a five day week next week. Please feel just the tiniest bit sorry for me, or maybe that’s too much to ask!

It possibly felt like a long week because I’ve been non stop. I’ve also had a massive dip in my confidence due to not being all that great at evisceration this week. I felt like I lost all the skills I had mastered in the past few months but I’m certain it’s just a blip and I’ll be back soon. I had to get more help than I’ve needed in a while, and they weren’t really difficult cases.

One lovely thing that happened however, was the chance to show around a student nurse for a morning. It’s times like that when I realise that I bloody love my job and I love talking about it nearly as much. We get people approach the mortuary on a fairly regular basis asking if they can come visit, for some people this can just be a curiosity around what we do deep down in the basement. However for others they visit as part of their studies or work placements so we get a few students coming down. I think the first things people notice are that the mortuary is bright and clean, most people imagine a dark, dingy place with dubious smells and stains. I believe they also notice how friendly we are as a team! Each person has their own quirks but each of us is really cheery and friendly.

It was great to have someone to show what we do to, we each took some time with her to explain what we were doing which was nice and she asked some great questions. What I thought was very good was the fact she really just wanted to know what happened to the patients after they left her care. She thought it odd that people just were taken off to this place and no one really understood what happens after they last see them. I can see why this is the case, as people don’t like to think about what happens once you die, but I also think this is so unhealthy and people should know what happens. I can’t help but think that with that knowledge there would be far less fear from people around death itself.

With my colleague we showed her the booking in process, the cleaning of patients who have ‘purged’ (have fluid coming from the nose and mouth) and the releasing of patients to funeral directors. At the end of her time with us I gave her a quick tour of the post-mortem room (not in use at the time), the isolation room used for ‘high risk’ post-mortems and the other little rooms that come off of these. Doing this made me think of how much I have learnt in my eight months at the mortuary and how well I was able to answer her questions.

Relating to how much I like talking about my work, the next Death Cafe has been confirmed! On June 19th at the Sweet Rose Cakery in Upminster our second event will be on from 7-9pm. I’m excited to use this space as we have it all to ourselves, plus there’s wine and cake available. I think I’ll be very much a home there! More information can be found on our page here. If you would like to come please get in touch and let me know, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Wish you all a lovely weekend! I am attending the very exciting BlogConLDN tomorrow to learn how to make this blog better, keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming changes.

MG x

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