Thursday, November 25, 2010
I love this picture! (That little guy, for me, is the epitome of awesome.) It relates very little to this blog post...
I had a dream last night that I died. I don't know how I died, but my funeral was awesome. Everything was so rad that I figure I should document it, and what better way to do that than blogging it to share with y'all. It feels very self indulgent, but a healthy indulgence at that. Coming to terms with my own mortality, cripes!
It was a night time vigil, I think it was at 8PM. People rocked up to the chapel I work at, except they held the service outside under the stars in the carpark. They had a big tent up where I was, casket open with me in it in my skeleton onesie grinning cheesily. I had a corkboard coffin, and people took polaroid photos during the night and pinned them onto the sides. The ambience was really upbeat, all music festivally (without the bogans and tanned girls in denim vagina-exposing shorts.)
The celebrant was Elvis. The music was great and varied from Bon Iver, Fleet foxes and this really pretty Audreys song that I've always wanted... (pretty much stuff I'm listening to now) and my friends played some mariachi tunes...
Then people ate cake and laughed at all the photos I've taken while drunk. I was taken away to the cemetery in the side carriage of a Harley Davidson. I don't know where this desire came from, but it's fun! This is what I want.
So, I most certainly don't want to die yet. I have stuff I want to get done. If I do get topped though, WHAT A PARTY!!!!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I've seen some pretty horrendous things. Chilling, Disgusting, gag-worthy things. Yet, I generally only get close to a vomit when I'm faced with the considerable lack of personal hygeine that some (not all) people have in their last years/months/weeks/days.
I'm well aware that when people get older, they get kind of grosser. It's unfair, but completely understandable. I'm not picking on senior citizens here. What I am reporting is the toenail fungus people, the cellulitus people and the filthy rotten teeth people. The younger generation that die because, well, they didn't look after themselves?!?
Today I copped a doozy that left me running for the sink...
It was time for a resident of ours to be prepared. She'd been dead for well over a fortnight and she was starting to get a little on the nose. This didn't put me off so much, until I opened her mouth to clean and realised that she'd been eating mushy peas just before she'd died and her mouth was full to the brim.
I was astounded. It definately wasn't phlegm, as is often the case when people die from pneumonia. It was peas; some mushed and some in unchewed solid form. Then, when I tried to brush her teeth clean I could feel them wobbling and rotten under the bristles. Blurgh!
On another equally gross topic, why do some people never cut their toenails? Add that to the flaky and soggy foot skin, boob rashes and butt bandaids. I can take the gory stuff anyday, but general grossness...
Not a fan really.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Hark! I've got a zany story for you, and the tale isn't an isolated case either.
Double services usually are held for multiple family members who die in accidents and tragedies. Every now and again however, people die of a broken heart. Of course it doesn't say 'broken heart' on their death certificate as the official cause of death, but we recently had a husband and wife duo who passed away within hours of each other, one in hospital and the other at home upon learning the news...and you tell me that heartbreak isn't deadly!
Family members reported that it seemed the pain and suffering ate away at the widows will to keep living. Fittingly, as close as they were in life they were in death and their funeral services were joined. It's interesting to think that all that keeps someone living is the notion that they are living on Earth WITH someone they love. Woah right! I wonder if they got stomach aches or indigestion when they were pissed off with each other?
I can't imagine how it would feel to lose your best friend, your closest companion. Someone you build a life with; kids, houses, super funds and passport stamps. So much shared, and to know it all passes. And then, there's death.
To understand love as matrimony, must you also understand death?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
My dad found a dead guy, again.
It was less than twelve months ago that my dad was running through some bushland near his home when he found a young guy hanging from a tree. A particularly harrowing experience for someone less seasoned to playing with corpses, and dad was left traumatised (and within reason).
In retrospect, I wish I had spent more time talking with him about this initial event. Seeing a father figure in a fragile state is a strange mind f*ck really, isn't it? I shirked my daughterly responsibilites, partly due to the removal I thought my rank as 'oddly admirable family mortician' gave me, and partly because I was reluctant to honestly open up and offer my support as an adult in the family.
Yesterday dad called me with the news that he'd found dead dude #2. Again whilst on an early morning run he'd come across a vehicle that appeared abandoned. On closer inspection, a male had propped a shotgun between his knees and decorated the roof with his brains. Yuck! And Sad!
This time, dad isn't ok. At a time in his life where he should be taking the time to smell the roses, drive slowly on sundays and other such associated activities, dad is trying to forget frantic moments and crushing anxieties. This time, I'm ready to step up. As I was supported as a child, I will duly support my father.
This whole thing has made me remember that death isn't something that necessarily happens in cold, sterile environments either. My environment is safe and cool (and I play spectacular music) so it's relatively unchallenging, but out in the wilderness with dead people....I'd be shattered.
Dad, I don't like blood either. I'm sorry you were the one. (twice)
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I'm sensing the need rising. Go. Do. See. Feel. If the corpses could talk to me, live through me, what would they urge?
I asked a dead man today but his fixed and dilated moon gazers admitted nothing. What help was he, other than acting as the reminder in focus that in the end we're just skin and bones and all alone. I guess thats help enough. Another post-it note opportunity for some emotional reconnaissance.
Why do I feel the need to run if being alone is not the goal? Dead of Brisbane, answer me this!
Peace. (And help me find mine...)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
What a sickness it is, when society allows a young girl to feel disgusted in herself because she has shape and form. I have seen what is left of a body after an eating disorder has wretched the young soul from it's bones. It's a breathtaking sight, and one that has literally knocked me backwards with shock.
You can't close a dead anorexic persons eyes easily, because the skin over the skull is so tight that there is not enough eyelid to cover the eye. And the lips are also pulled so tight and the teeth so overwhelming that the mouth is hard to close without making things look goofy. It's so sad, that the deceased can't even look at peace when the pain has gone.
The desire to be thin is overwhelming, and the skinny culture permeates even the most self-actualised young women. Damn you hollywood and all your assness! Stop preying on young maliable minds. And grown ups, push the glossy shit away!
Eating disorders break my heart.
[The Doctor : Wednesday 3 November]
Check out the link, it's my lastest JJJ interview that aired last Wednesday. It's short and sweet, just after the Pendulum people.
We talked decomposition, although very very loosely. Oh, and happy birthday for the lovely Hannah Wickes (the super lovely drive show producer). Hip hip Hooray!
I'm blogging tonight with a gin and tonic in hand. I enjoy a drink or two, but I don't often sink multiple spirits on week nights (spirits of the alcoholic type, not the boogey ones).
Please excuse my language, but this day has been a right fuck.
There must be something going on with the planets. I'm going to google it. Funeral directors must be more receptable to this celestial rukus because we have contact with the 'other side'...it makes sense right? Anyway, my entire workplace feels like a warzone because of the tensions running through the staffing. I don't know if the whole pre-christmas hatred is setting in, or if the paint fumes from the current renovations are making the bunch volatile...but something is up. I'm happy to supply those little chinese stress ball things. We need to increase the peace!
How do you deal with a funeral arranger that doesn't seem to think that the deceased persons suit is vital in the 'dressing' process? Or the arranger who thinks that transferring the deceased into our care is a procedure that can be done without people to carry the body????
Come on people, get yer shit together! Massage some balls.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I shouldn't read the newspaper. It's that simple. Or at least, any stories to do with dead Brisbanites. Sometimes there's information on the googler that I just don't want to have googled.
I found out today that I am going to receive into my care the body of a child that I have been reading about in the news. From all the reports, this death is truly tragic. Heartbreaking stuff, and something that I am sincerely going to struggle with. When I read something that is emotionally draining, sometimes I can't pull myself away from learning more and more. It's whack.
It reminds me of a case of mine about a year ago, in which a woman aged 23 had committed suicide. I found her appareance shockingly like mine, and I stupidly committed a cardinal sin of undertaking a facebook search for her. I wanted to know what her profile pictures were, I wanted to know what her friends looked like and mostly I wanted to know if people were still writing on her webby-wall-thing. Did people know that she'd even died? When I looked, the day I prepared her, no one had written anything on her wall. It pained me and it haunts me. (And it also confirms that you should keep your facey page private unless you want your mortician snooping out your stories...).
I will never cross that line again.
Above all, this whole death scene reminds me that the teeny weeny hiccups that I face in my life are BULLSHIT. I don't know the pain of grim realities. And for this, I can only be appreciative to lady luck and her wonderous ways.
RIP young one. x
Monday, November 1, 2010
Happy Hallo-weezer for yesterday, readers and associated spooks.
I spent Halloween on transfers, picking up the newly departed and bringing them into the safe and welcome care of my mortuary's 'temperature controlled environment'. I desperately wanted to witness some thrilling ghoulish behaviour but as usual the dead loved being dead and didn't want to mess around. Lame! Bring on the terror, corpses o' plenty!
It was the first time that I'd ever been on transfers with a new guy at work,Ry, who's only 23. He's quite the young darling; reserved, clean cut and polite and after the initial "who are you and what are you about?" conversations I found out that he has a respectable music taste to boot. Surely then, such a refined young lad would be ok with dealing with an old ladies pee all over the stretcher?
I don't know how he fared, as he was too polite to let any emotions surface. Even on the drive back I asked if he had passed wind (I'm honest about these things, considering the body functions that I witness daily a fart doesn't particularly register as gross) and he said that if he did he would be horridly embarrassed.
So, nice to meet you properly Ry! Happy first transfer together, on this happy halloween. Just be honest about your van farts dude. There's always something stinkier in the vehicle.