Dimond And Sons, Silver Bell Chapel

Your Questions


Hi, how are you? I hope this isn't a ludicrous question, but recently I have lost a loved one and for some reason I have been so curious about the process of embalming. It is driving me crazy and I gave even ask my friend who owns a funeral home to show me the room and he didn't think it was a good time. I saw the pictures on your web-site and it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. Also, I am in the process of becoming an M.D. and I don't know why seeing autopsies doesn't bother me, but the whole embalming process has really bothered me. (Even before my the death of my loved one) Do you think this is normal and why do you think the embalming process bothers me so much more. How do you deal with what you do and does it ever bother you? I would appreciate any advice you could offer? Thank you, Alicia P.S. Do you think it would help me to watch the process of a body being embalmed?
First, I should explain that I accessed your question while travelling in Northern California and I've got this little bitty window to type in my answer using this system, so I can't see all of your question at the same time, but will try and be concise AND complete. I am not a psychologist so I can't explain your interest or concern about the embalming process. I have talked to a number of physicians who have a problem with embalming. I believe the reason is tied to their connection to anatomical specimens, which in many cases were embalmed with extremities outstretched and the bodies distended for maximum ease of dissection. Often, they work on this cadaver for months, trying not to think about this now grotesque creature that was someone's mother or father. I personally don't think that observing an embalming will change anything for you and most states prohibit anyone being present for embalming except necessary personnel and family members. Could it be that the concern you are directing at embalming is really routed more in other issues relating to death itself. Our mortality can be very frightening. Dealing with death every day is like dealing with life every day. You just find your way, find the joy in helping people, find the peace that comes with all of that and don't let it get to you. Sounds easy. It ain't. Babies, abused children, kids killed when they fly out of pickup truck beds, kids killed unnecessarily because they're not belted in properly, people who commit suicide and leave hopelessly wrecked survivors asking themselves why for years thereafter. If you let it get to you, it will drive you nuts. You do what you can and find peace in the realization that you have really listened and done your best. And remember, first, do no harm! Since I can only read three lines of what I have written at any time, I sure hope this makes some sense. Contact me again if I can help.



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