Happy Sunday!

Posted November 5, 2006 by oxygengirl
Categories: Blogroll, daily life, deep thoughts, Leon Hale, Life, my life, News, newspaper, Newspaper articles, Thoughts, Uncategorized

I watch the news. I’m aware of what’s going on and whats going down. Only recently, since I’ve been working, have I actually picked up the Newspaper, and sometimes I open it. On one of these very rare occasions I picked up the Sunday Chronicle after opening at eight. I slapped it on the desk and left it lying there while I went around the funeral home turning on the lights, turning the phones, and checking messages. When I sat back down the newspaper was still there on the desk. I have always been a bit intimidated by thick stacks of paper lacquered in ink, wrapped unceremoniously in plastic, but on that Sunday two weeks ago I threw caution to the wind and ripped that sucker from its swaddle. Leafing through the headlines I chucked the bulk of the paper into the recycling box for the girls to pick apart on Monday. A small article at the bottom of Section G’s title page caught my eye. I read it, then purged through the next six pages to read the Continued article. Leon Hale, a eighty-somethin’ year old columnist, recalled one of his old teachers. He turned this fleeting memory into a lesson learned. Not very often do I read something so brilliant that it makes me think about my own experiences, and how such small instances in my life molded me into the person I have become. Today I searched for Leon Hale again, and found him in the exact same spot. This article touched me yet again as he recalled some old friends and good times, all of which have been dead for many many years. I cut the article out and tucked it into an envelope. I cannot wait to read next Sunday’s article. Any who, Leon Hale has a blog and I’ve added it to my links. I’ve spent the last two magical hours perusing his posts, so short and simple, and yet each one made me giggle.

Did he love my boots more than me?

Posted November 4, 2006 by oxygengirl
Categories: Blogroll, daily life, deep thoughts, fitness, Health, job, Life, my life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Poodle, my current boyfriend of five years, told me a few days ago that he missed my old self. He is a bit anxious about jumping into Law school, though he enjoys it very much, and is afraid that he will have to give up the things he loves in order to attain this dream. Lately he has been asking me if I still draw and write poetry like I used to love to do. I told him no and that I really don’t have the time anymore.  It took me a while to see where he was going: he thinks that I gave up a lot of my hobbies after starting my career as a Funeral Director. To be completely honest, I have. I am a very talented artist but my heart was never set on becoming one.

 To be Itty Bitty

These pictures are a few years old and I have not scanned in any newer ones, simply because there are not many. I do not draw anymore because I think I have matured a bit. Poodle thinks that I just don’t have the time anymore, which is half right. I have replaced my hobbies with better activities, such as jogging and a job. I love my job and I don’t resent the fact that I don’t have the time to sit down for a few hours and draw. I really only have time to jog early in the morning at 4:30 before school or work. 

I told Poodle that he is just maturing, he won’t need to play Warcraft or video games as much because he will find a job he enjoys. He said that he missed the old me, though….He misses my gothic phase and my boots and weird t-shirts. Although I am in much better physical condition with a very nice butt, he prefers me in large boots with buckles, torn clothes, and weird hair? Doesn’t he know that I worked hard to be where I am now?! To solve his problem, I told him that I would wear the boots in bed….Problem solved!

County Cemetery

Posted October 6, 2006 by oxygengirl
Categories: deep thoughts, Fridays, Funeral, job, Life, mortuary, student, Thoughts

Every Friday at the County Cemetery the students from Commonwealth Institute have the opportunity to volunteer and help ‘C’ Funeral home and Social Services hold committal services for the indigent cases. I have been going for over six months now and I look forward to going every Friday. Today was the first Friday of the new Fall Quarter which means a lot of new students volunteering for Friday Funerals. The first few weeks are usually like this, then they always get burned out and you end up with only two people,somebody like me who you can always depend on showing up. It is volunteer but a lot of people do not like to talk to the family or do the dismissal or anything. I want to be the best damn funeral director so even though I was very shy and nervous and pushed past it…or rather I was thrown to the wolves by my oh-so-sensitive teacher. Any who, so there were about seven students there including me, yet I was the only “veteran” of friday funerals, this was the first day at the county cemetery for the other six students. I’m not including the student who provides and drives the hearse, though he is very kind to volunteer his gas money and time to help out these families. The families start to pull in and I can’t distinguish the students from the families so as I direct each car to where they need to park I talk with the families and give them any information about the services that the county provides. There were two students sitting in the cars smoking where the families were supposed to park. I helped them move their cars without running over any families ( the cemetery is very small and all dirt roads, just to paint ya’ll a picture). I was walking around talking to each family while the new students were huddled in a group introducing themselves and such. I don’t blame them and I really don’t mind. I just talk with the families so I can get familiar with them so it doesn’t feel like I’m attending a funeral service for somebody I don’t know. I tell the students exactly what I’m doing so they don’t feel left out, though I know only half of them will show up next week. The first service starts and Doug from ‘C’ Funeral Home tells me that I’m the funeral director in charge, which came as no surprise. He told the students to ask me any questions and to pay attention to me because “I know what I’m doing. All the while I’m trying not to get a big head. I opened and closed the casket for the family with the students close at my heels. I do the dismissal which really is very short and just gives the family directions on what to do next. I direct the pall bearers (the students). Then! Here is the awesome part! I am standing at the foot end of the casket and the students and I are waiting for the hearse to pull around. My teacher, in all his glory, is standing at the head end and asks all the students if they had met me (they had earlier of course) and told them that I was “the best product from the school”. Of course I didn’t know what to say…I should have said something witty like “I am only as good as my teachers”…but instead I just beamed a smile, which for him was token enough. That was really what I was building this whole story up to…If it wasn’t at all what you expected I’m sorry. I just feel all warm and fuzzy because I kissed a lot of ass to get to where I am: The top of my class and respected by all my teachers, even the one everybody hates. I really studied hard to get my 4.0 and I have perfect attendance.

Nancy Hands

Posted October 4, 2006 by oxygengirl
Categories: deep thoughts, Health, Life, Thoughts

I wrote a comment a few days ago that happened to spark a few questions that I had neglected to answer over the years. I’ve struggled with depression most of my young life and have just recently, in the last year or so, decided to cleanse myself of all the negative emotions I keep suppressed. Monday was my first class of Grief Psychology and I found myself crying because I knew exactly what the teacher was saying. Of course once I start crying, I can’t stop, and however much I tried I couldn’t erase the thoughts of past mistakes from my head. They were stains that couldn’t easily be removed the first few tries. Yesterday’s class as well as today’s class went much more smoothly though my throat kept clenching tight and my eyes  were burning. The teacher reminded my class that there is a research paper due by the end of the quarter. He said that we could choose a topic in which we had personal ties to and write about that without providing refrences. At first I didn’t want to but I dug up an old essay I had written to a psychologist but had not finished. I plan on finishing it and turning it in but without putting any emphasis on my own personal experiences, instead I decided to write about my grandmother, Nancy. I began with the first time I ever heard of her, so tell me what you think:

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Just sleeping

Posted October 2, 2006 by oxygengirl
Categories: autopsy, baby, embalming, Funeral, infant, job, Life, mortuary, preparation, sleeping, student

Today was my second day at work and I was a lot better at answering the phones and transfering calls. The first half of the morning was very slow with only a few calls from employee family members checking to see who is working today. At around Noon an infant was delivered by the embalming service, though it had not been embalmed after being autopsied. Every child under the age of six must have an autopsy performed to rule out the chance of abuse or poisoning. I am used to preparing infants because my school receives so many such cases, but this one was very different. This child was full term and a healthy size, a victom of SIDS most likely. The autopsy abdominal incision had been loosely stitched closed but there was an open cranial incision which left the cranium in view as well as incisions along the long axis of each extremity. While an autopsy and embalming are both considered mutilation by law, the purpose is often misinterpreted. An autopsy is very useful to determine if indeed foul play was involved, or post-mortem examinations are needed for insurance claims, but most importantly an autopsy report provides closure for those individuals left to ask “Why?” The guilt a family member may have can be easily alleviated if they know that the child was terminally ill from the very beginning. This infant is soon going to be cremated as the family had arranged, but they did want to make sure the child was clothed and properly swaddled at the funeral home. We attained the tiny hand and foot prints of the child, which took roughly an hour, and even placed some prints on two beautiful framed sheets of glass for the family. The whole process was difficult and may have to be redone tomorrow. We were able to dress, swaddle and casket the baby. The baby was also different from those we prepare at school because it was still beautiful and pink. The eyes were slightly open and though there were no twinkle of moisture beneath the lids,it seemed as if the child were simply dreaming. Although this tiny body was so fragile and even more delicate to touch from the remaining open autopsy incisions, her lips were still puckered as if she yearned to suckle her thoroughly inked thumb. As we placed her gently into the casket I was reminded of how this tiny baby was a blessing to its family. With her arrival her family probably made tremendous lifestyle changes. I only hope the family understands that  the effort they might have put into making sure this child would have a good, loving, and nurturing home has not gone to waste. A child can really make one stop and remember that the most important thing in life is not remembering to pick up the dry-cleaning or needing that larger television to watch the game. A child is a blessing because of the positive changes that occur to be able to nurture that new life.

First day at work

Posted October 1, 2006 by oxygengirl
Categories: Uncategorized

I pull into the funeral home parking lot this morning about ten till eight and wait for Patti to open the front doors. This is the first time meeting her so we talk up a storm while turning all the lights on and she shows me how to retrieve messages from the forwarding service and how to transfer the calls back to the funeral home. She explains the purpose of the dry-erase board, instructing me on the proper way to read it. The board said we had a memorial service in the chapel at 2, but to expect the family around 1. After talking a long time I grow more comfortable around her. The man had been left in the chapel from the visitation the night before and he is expected to be cremated soon. I help Patti move the rental casket into the preparation room where she shows me the body is placed in a rental casket, since it may be used more than once if an insert is included with the deceased. There was a flower spray and bouquets left over from the visitation in which the families left for us to donate. Certain bouquets can be donated to Nursing Homes…but donating a casket spray is just a little insensitive, plus they were not meant to be hung on the walls or to be a center piece for a table because of their odd shape and size. Long story short, we donated them to the dumpster.

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Look It! My first Post!

Posted September 29, 2006 by oxygengirl
Categories: Uncategorized

The real purpose for this blog was to allow me an appropriate atmosphere to vent my frustrations after work (or day after since I’ll be getting home late) or more importantly to share my happiness with anyone who actually gives a rat’s arse. I start my new job at the Funeral Home tomorrow at Eight o’clock in the morning and will not be able to leave until Ten at night, since I am expected to monitor the visitation. My supervisor has the sweetest voice I think I have ever heard and I know I will get along well with her. Technically I am the Receptionist but will be expected to perform all the duties that an apprentice would. I will be able to casket and dress the decedent, run Death Certificates downtown or Flowers to the graveside service or chapel. I get to make cookies too! For the visitation guests…not for me. I know I will have tons to do so I am not worried about being bored. The long hours might be a bit stressful at first but I know that I will get used to it. There should be a lot to write about my first day at work. I am so excited, I am!

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