Things I’ve Learned From Dead People: One.

Since starting my new job at the Cemetery/Mortuary, I have learned several noteworthy things from dead people. I work in a place that is corporately run – with departments, teams, hiring bonuses and paid vacation days. We have over 100 employees physically working the grounds in various positions seven days a week, rain or shine; our shockingly diverse staff is comprised of people from every nationality, sexual orientation, race, social class, culture that are each chasing very different professional goals from day to day.

There are the snooty, stuck-up girl cliques in the offices (including mine); there are the poindexters who don’t know how to make eye contact with someone of the opposite sex; we have the “wise folks” – “the middle school” – and “the babies” (who are young enough to be my children, which has been an eye-opening disturbance in my personal self-image lol), three quite disparate age groups of employees of either sex, ranging from baby boomers to last year’s high school graduates…it makes up a rather striking workforce when it’s all smeared around the break room. Again, I have observed the community affect amongst these people, despite the fact that not a single one of us would hang out together on our own time, outside of work. In this case, it is the job ethic attached to the place we are employed together and engaged in daily actions with the families that we serve as a collective. We each have a task to complete perfectly in order to honor and respect the dead in the most memorable ways for each one that we receive.

It’s mind-blowing to me over and over, as we wrap up another service and interment/inurnment etc.: the absolute and undeniable amount of pride, dignity and poise that I repeatedly see in each and every person’s efforts. I have felt a renewed sense of hope in humanity since I started to notice this about my co-workers; it’s my entire company, in general, as we are trained heavily in ethics, professional decorum and appropriate behavior in this specific industry. It has been a really enriching experience already, somehow, despite the nature of its operations.

 

I have also found some things to be not so positive about working at a funeral home on cemetery grounds, such as:

 

  • Dead people do not have “wishes” any longer; whatever desires a dead person may have put into writing or words during Life get buried or cremated along with them.
  • Despite the hideously dwindling economy, the money being invested into land plots by people from ALL walks of Life before they die is TRULY MINDBOGGLING.
  • When it rains for 19 days straight in a cemetery, the place gets seriously hard on the eyes.
  • Just because people have solid work ethics doesn’t mean they take it home with them when they punch out.
  • It is true what they say about the gossip at the water cooler (which just so happens to be right behind my desk).

Hangman’s Blood.

He sat, legs out-stretched;
his drink, known as Hangman’s Blood…
he wore exhaustion…

“I’m a Jar-head, Babycakes…”
blue diamond eyes, a match strikes;
“Of course I still smoke…”

sports bright twinkly stars,
eyes: adorned by shrapnel scars…
lives for deployment…

he carries no clue;
beyond decorative brass…
of how deeply he is adored…

A career Sand-Tank Gunner;
my first Love, look at you now…
I still see so much fire in you.

Howl.

What is a name given by the Gods to a star?

with a twinkle they will not let shine anymore,

with the spirit of a beast broadcast from afar,

from the depths to the distance, howl evermore.

What is a name given by the Gods to a man?

with an poetic heart and outstretched hand,

with the eyes of the wolf in the heart of the den,

and a spirit that shines when the moon’s full again.

Here is the place where the Gods have hung him?

with the fizzle and fire of ancient constellations,

where his spirit lives on in the howling of winds,

and his words carry on in the hearts of his friends.

What is a name given by the Gods to a star?

with a twinkle they will not let shine anymore,

with the spirit of a beast broadcast from afar,

from the depths to the distance, howl evermore.

What is a name given by the Gods to a man?

with an poetic heart and outstretched hand,

with the eyes of the wolf in the heart of the den,

and a spirit that shines when the moon’s full again.

Here is the place where the Gods have hung him?

with the fizzle and fire of ancient constellations,

where his spirit lives on in the howling of winds,

and his words carry on in the hearts of his friends.

 

Hangman’s Blood.

He sat, legs out-stretched;
his drink, known as Hangman’s Blood…
he wore exhaustion…

“I’m a Jarhead, Babe…”
blue diamond eyes, a match strikes;
“Of course I still smoke…”

sports bright twinkly stars,
eyes: adorned by shrapnel scars…
lives for deployment…

he carries no clue;
beyond decorative brass…
that he is adored…

A career Tank-Gun;
my first Love, look at you now…
I see fire in you.

Answer.

together

“I have your answer.” he says through the satellites;
The answer – to a question…that I asked him tonight;
A tickle to his Wizard brain –
A thought, one driving me insane;
He is the winner playing on this field;
He breaks the records, he owns the game;
of my bullheaded difficulty, against his grain.
“Look inside of You.” And his words ring true – to my bones;
“This is me, is this you?” heartache gone…Let’s go home;
A tickle to my inner-ear –
A touch, a truth, I long to hear;
His are the hands that carry gently,
my evidently beating heart, he knows my name;
he holds the stones and feathers of the home from which I came.
“There’s nothing broken about you.” He’s all business in his tone;
Over and over and over…until the message starts hitting home.