Morticians may be known as undertakers or funeral directors. They assist people with the details of funeral services for their loved ones. They may meet with bereaved families and embalm the deceased. It is not a career for everyone, but many who work in the field find it rewarding, since they are easing the pain of people who are experiencing a great loss.
The History of Morticians
Embalming slows the normal decomposition process, allowing for the families of deceased loved ones to view them at memorial services. Embalming traces to ancient times in Egypt, where they performed mummification.
A Dutch botanist, Dr. Frederick Ruysch, is the accepted father of the embalming process. He developed new methods of the day for anatomical preservation. He also discovered the first arterial embalming.
Morticians and embalmers use various techniques to restore deceased people cosmetically. Once embalmed, the body is prepared cosmetically for viewing. Morticians use makeup to make the deceased appear natural, for funeral services.
The Future of Morticians
Morticians spend a great deal of time dealing with something that most of us do not, and that is death. They earn about $54,000 per year, but many morticians simply enjoy the work.
California is significant in today’s story of death. A funeral industry exposé and the Catholic Church’s approval of cremation both occurred in 1963. Today, California is the home of the “alternative death industry”. This involves home burials without coffins, and the process is advertised as being much more eco-friendly than traditional burials.
The Order of the Good Death
The Order was founded in 2011, in order to help people ease through the thought of dying, and to reconsider their mortality without fear. This will not replace the conventional funeral services and burials anytime soon, but it is an alternative.
The Order includes members from everywhere in the developed world. This includes writers, artists, poets, musicians and filmmakers. These are people who are more innovative with the way death is treated. It is not comfortable for most people, but it does have a following.
Conventional Funerals Will Still Be Conducted
Corpses in the past stayed in their houses for several days following death, but now it is not so much a part of the culture. This has changed our relationship with death. While some people will prefer home burials, many will be more comfortable with conventional services and burials.
The legal options available for disposal of the body of a loved one are burial, scientific donation and cremation. This makes innovation limited in scope. People do branch out and have personal-shaped urns for cremated relatives, and use other ways of making their funeral services unique.
The traditional mortician and his duties will, for the foreseeable future, remain somewhat as they are now, and this is a comfort to people who want to bid their deceased loved ones farewell in this more conventional means.