When I was in the hospital, I learned about what happens to a person’s body after they die. Dead bodies can be extraordinarily spooky looking, which a lot of people don’t realize. A lot is done to prepare a cadaver for viewing, which I know because I actually met a mortician during my hospital stay. According to her, the body has to be stored at the morgue in a refrigerated room to postpone decomposition until burial preparation. Apparently, funeral directors can fix almost anything: severed limbs, skin abrasions, even reattaching a decapitated head.
A person can keep the deceased body of a loved one for upwards of five days, but
it will start to decay immediately after death, and I don’t know if you’ve ever smelt a decaying body, but it’s really not pretty. That’s why funeral directors embalm bodies before open-casket funerals: to delay decomposition, and to make the deceased look like they’re sleeping rather than dead. The blood is removed, and embalming fluid shot through the circulatory system to liven the skin and feign the appearance of a person having a peaceful sleep.
In the movies, something a lot of people get wrong is the natural appearance of death. Your mouth is wide open, and your eyes bulging out of your head, and something has to be done to reduce the zombie-like appearance of a person’s loved one before a funeral. So, a mortician stuffs the nose and throat with cotton (and sometimes, also, the anus, to prevent leakage) and sutures the mouth shut with a needle and thread or a needle injector. It sounds rather gory, but I think it’s really fascinating, the sorts of things that go on behind the scenes. Death isn’t really all that scary. I might remain in my spirit form, existing among the living, or I might become someone new, and live a completely different life.
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