Dimond And Sons, Silver Bell Chapel

Your Questions


You have a beautiful funeral home! My first question has to do with steroids. I am 36 and a few years back, my 2 friends died from injecting them! My one friend weighed almost 400 lbs when he died! How doyou embalm someone or how do you remove them from the place of death! I have ead where it is more difficult to embalm someone when they did steroids or injected heroin or other drugs! I have NEVER used drugs and never want to! You guys have to extremely fit to lift heavy people! How do you stay fit? Thank you for your time and God Bless you all!
Extremely heavy people present some unique challenges to funeral home personnel. If the death occurs in a hospital it is quite common for their staff to assist us. If the death occurs in a residence, the first responders, often police or paramedics will have dispatch notify us that we have a morbidly obese person to move. In our area, emergency personnel will usually wait and assist us. This is not unusual and is why so many funeral homes provide special courtesy and discounts for police and fire line of duty deaths. My back has been saved many times by local law enforcement who didn't turn their backs but offered to help. We don't forget - and most funeral directors don't. In one case where the person weighed almost 500 pounds the fire department helped us strap one of their backboards to two of our mortuary gurneys thereby hooking them together to create one unit and helped us carry out, load then followed us to the funeral home to help unload.

Embalming obese people is difficult but not impossible. The problem is getting them washed and clean because their size affects water going down the table. Embalming steroid, heroin or other drug related deaths is no more difficult than other types of cases to be embalmed.

Now, how do we stay fit? Funeral dirctors seem to fall into two categories: Real fitness people and others who do absolutely nothing. I like to swim, my older son plays golf (a lot) and my cousin Charlie is a runner. The real trick for lifting is to know how, using legs instead of the back and calling for back-up if you can't handle it.

Hope I answered your questions. Incidentally I really fought the impulse to let my humorous side get out when it came to the fitness part. I have several funeral director friends who think walking to the doughnut shop is exercise and scotch would be a low-fat, low calorie drink.

Finally, I'm glad you don't do drugs. The really hard part of embalming a drug victim is looking at a person (often very young) and thinking, "what a waste", knowing there is a family heartbroken that someone they loved has thrown it away.



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Copyright©1998 by Donald C. Dimond II