A Body in the Morgue

Working the front desk

at the nursing home —

a part time gig

helping to buy the eggs

since this past September.

I like the title:

Receptionist.

But things are a bit askew

this weekend.

There’s a body in the mourge.

I didn’t expect it to hit me

so hard.

I guess the first time for any

or everything

is always remarkable.

Did I explain?

There’s a body in the mourge.

17 thoughts on “A Body in the Morgue

  1. It can be unnerving. I worked in a place that had a morgue and, while it didn’t bother me as an aspiring forensic scientist at the time, I had a coworker who would avoid that hall by any means necessary when it was known there was a deceased resident.

    I was unnerved, however, when I was asked to fingerprint a dead body as part of my internship in a morgue, post-autopsy and prior to delivery to the mortician. After about 20 minutes doing the work, I was fine, but I declined the lunch invite that followed all the same.

  2. I can imagine that can only be disturbing at best, Richard. I’ve not experienced anything like that, but the nearest thing I can think of is seeing my Mum in the chapel of rest after she died, and they’d put make-up on her. I didn’t look like my Mum at all, and I’m not sure I’ll ever visit a chapel of rest again when the next person passes on. Was the body in the morgue one of the residents from the nursing home you worked in? I hope any troubling thoughts about this are short-lived 💙.

  3. A personal experience. A number of years ago I brought my mother to Peru from England as she was no longer able to look after herself. After a few years she died and my daughters and I were at her hospital bedside when she gave her last breath. The nurses came and stood around at this moment of grief and a beautiful psalm in harmony, a very moving experience, which I will never forget. My mother was then cremated and the ceremony was short but dignified. However, by Peruvian law there must be a witness who testifies that the body is really cremated,. I took on this resposiblity and passed through the door next to the conveyor belt, which rolled my mother’s coffin through the small sliding doors. There, I joined two workmen who lifted my mother like a sack of potatoes and hoisted her through the doors of the furnace. They closed the, door, turned on the heating mechanism and handed me the papers I had to sign. The beautiful, and the not so beautiful, that’s life, I guess…. and death. The body….of course, was no longer my mother. She had no use for this any longer. She was no longer there.

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