A close look at what does actually take place may explain a large measure of the undertaker's intractable reticence concerning a procedure that has become his major .Is it possible he fears that public information about embalming might lead patrons to wonder if they really want this service? The body is first laid out in the undertaker's morgue-or rather, Mr.
For those who have the stomach for it, let us part the formaldehyde curtain. The preparation room in any of the better funeral establishments has the tiled and sterile look of a surgery, and indeed the embalmer-restorative artist who does his chores there is beginning to adopt the term "dermasurgeon" (appropriately corrupted by some mortician-writers as "demi-surgeon") to describe his calling.
(For those who want to know, Mitford herself was cremated after death.)” Kennedy, X. The drama begins to unfold with the arrival of the corpse at the mortuary. How surprised he would be to see how his counterpart of today is whisked off to a funeral parlor and is in short order sprayed, sliced, pierced, pickled, trussed, trimmed, creamed, waxed, painted, rouged, and neatly dressed-transformed from a common corpse into a Beautiful Memory Picture.
This process is known in the trade as embalming and restorative art, and is so universally employed in the United States and Canada that the funeral director does it routinely, without consulting corpse or kin.
In this selection from the book, Mitford analyzes the twin processes of embalming and restoring a corpse, the practices she finds most objectionable.
You may need a stable stomach to enjoy the selection, but in it you’ll find a clear, painstaking process analysis, written with masterly style and outrageous wit.