Log in

No account? Create an account

Thu, Sep. 22nd, 2016, 09:02 pm
In the vein of depression, I'd like to talk to you about death

Lets be honest. We are all going to die. That is the truth, but have you thought about what it means?

I invite you to ask me anything about the death industry, really, anything.

I will respond in an open and honest manner.

Fri, Sep. 23rd, 2016 03:21 pm (UTC)

What's the cheapest way to deal with a body, and can you donate stuff even if you (hopefully) die in bed in the night?

My whole family despises funerals, we're all going to be cremated (unless being buried under a tree costs less), and my mom and i and i'm pretty sure both brothers and sis are not only organ donators but 'take it all' kinda people. There will be *no* viewing (shudders), and just a wake a few weeks later, like we did with my dad.

So - what are our cut-rate, cardboard box options?! :)

(We joked with the mortuary guy about putting my dad on a raft and firing flaming arrows at him, but alas...not possible.)

Sat, Sep. 24th, 2016 03:30 am (UTC)

So, it depends on where you are living, but nearly every state has a Willed Body Program. I'm in Washington state and there is one at the University of Washington. We screen the application at the time of death, then if the decedent is accepted into the program our office goes out and does the removal to the UW. You have the option of getting some cremated remains back after they are done with the body. I believe that most states programs are similar You can google willed body programs and your state name to see if there is a program available there.
There is also donations to places like Med Cure (Oregon) and Science Care (Colorado).
Check in your area, google Med Cure and Science Care and get registered.
At the time of death, call which ever program you choose to go with and they will contact the local removal service to come and pick up. AFAIK there is no charge to the family, but that may be different from state to state.
Tissue/organ donation does not provide you with cremation, you will still need to contact a cremation provider/funeral home to cremate after the harvesting has taken place. Yep, we work with them as well.
Does this help?

Sat, Sep. 24th, 2016 03:47 am (UTC)

Neat! Things I did not know. :) I appreciate the information!

I guess I'm wondering how much you can donate if the body is several hours dead upon removal.

Sat, Sep. 24th, 2016 04:18 am (UTC)

Most donation programs have a time limit from time of death to cooler/donation site. I know that the Willed Body Program at the UW we have to transport to the refrigeration at the UW within 12 hours of death, tissue harvest is really stringent and the decedent must immediately be placed in refrigeration (or ice packs, but they must not actually touch skin) and they have a time out period for how long the tissue is viable for harvest.

Touching on organ/tissue donation - if you are a registered organ donor, that includes skin, corneas, long bones (leg bones, arm bones), and skin, not just heart, lungs, etc. It's something that is badly communicated to families IMO. It's one of the things that really irritates me about them. They will tell families that they won't be able to tell that there was donation, but that's a bald faced lie. As an embalmer, I've restored my share of donation cases and they never really look right. If you are lucky (and good, and I am) the face will look good and maybe the hands, but the rest is just basically a bagged body that kind of resembles a human being.

Sat, Sep. 24th, 2016 04:23 am (UTC)

Huh, okay. Good to know. :)

And that is exactly why I find viewings so distasteful. Not even 'complete' bodies ever look right, and they always seem to turn into some grotesque show or have all the drama-llama.

You do a service, and one appreciated by many. Thank you!
And thank you for the information, I'm definitely holding on to this post. :)