Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Post Nineteen: The New Girl

My little world of solitude has shifted, the days of loneliness and introspection altered. We hired a new girl!

New people come and go, but much is different in this case. The new girl is cheery, sarcastic and just the right amount of nerdy and it seems we have a lot in common. The fact that we like funny shit and science and have similar degrees and we also have lame uncool soft spots for Disney films isn't that mind blowing, but to have someone else the same age as me trying to forge a career in the funeral industry is pretty unexpected.

At first I felt like a first born child when a new baby is born. Most of the staff I work with have children the same age as me so I do sometimes seek advice from them as I would a parent or older sibling. Similarly, we have a family atmosphere in our funeral home so it's easy to see where the lines were blurry for me. I was the little girl in the hood that baked the cakes and messed around with practical jokes and I didn't want that role taken off of me. I was nice, but I felt uneasy.

Today they let me bring the new girl into the mortuary and for eight hours I proceeded with my usual practise to see how she fared. All the suturing, urine and nakedness she could handle. Not only was she fine with it all, but she explained how she felt about it all in a way that I too felt.

"It is what it is, nothing more exciting and nothing less" she said. A very Dalai Lama-ish response.

With compassion but without sissy drama she helped me wash and dress the people and she watched diligently as I prepared and set the facial features. At the end of the day I offered a debrief but she really didn't need it. It was really weird actually talking to someone all day, and explaining why I do the little tricks that I do but have never actually verbalised.

Getting home and reflecting on the day, I've decided I like having a new friend at work. She won't be in the mortuary most of the time, but having someone just like me around might come in handy on days where I need to share the smell, or scoff a heap of junk food because I've been staring at someones gunshot wound for too long. So to you new girl, let's be friends!

Peace. x


  1. Hi Sarah, what is the best way to become a mortican? What are the best ways to go about it?

  2. Hey casey, the best way to go about it is to hound all of your local funeral homes until they give in. Seriously, get annoying and they can't say no!

  3. is the new girl not a mortician trainee?