Most of us don’t want to think about the subject of embalming. When we lose someone we love, it’s difficult thinking of everything that comes after that. I’ve always believed that it’s important for us to know exactly how a loved one is taken care of when they are being prepared for a funeral. Embalming is one of those aspects that is highly important, so when we say our final goodbyes, we will have a lasting impression on them that is positive, loving, and most importantly, presentable. This is why embalming must be done. Here is what goes on.
When a mortician receives the body of the deceased, it’s important that they examine them to confirm death has occurred before proceeding with the next step. The clothes will be taken off and a modesty cloth is put in place to cover genitalia. This should give loved ones some peace of mind. Believe it or not, that’s one tiny thing that can be very important to a lot of people.
Next, the body is washed with disinfectants. This is done to prevent any contamination from any bacteria that may be on the body. The mortician has to be cautious so they don’t get sick, especially if the deceased died from some kind of disease. All parts of the body is disinfected, and that includes openings and other crevices. Body and facial hairs are also shaved so that when makeup is applied, it’ll go on smoothly. If rigor mortis has set in, the mortician gently massages the limbs so they can be flexible enough to move.
The body is then placed in the position it would be in when it’s time for them to be placed inside of the casket. This is done because when embalming fluid is filled inside of the deceased, the body will “set” and therefore it’s best to make sure they are in the proper position first.
The eyes and mouth are closed. Contrary to popular belief, the eyes are not sewn shut, however, they may be glued after eye caps are placed over the eyes to give the eyes a natural appearance. The same is done with the mouth, although with the mouth, the jaws are usually tied with sutures so that it will stay closed.
Embalming fluid, such as formaldehyde, is injected in the arteries as the blood is being drained. If the person has died from some sort of disease, morticians usually use a waterless solution to give the skin a natural appearance. Diseases usually take its toll before death, and after death it can definitely show. So this step is important. It doesn’t take long for the fluid to fill the body. Pressure begins to build up so care must be taken to know when to stop.
The body cavity has to be taken care of too, especially if an autopsy was performed beforehand. If the organs are still inside the body, they have to be drained to get rid of bacterial fluids that causes decomposition. This is not what you want to happen before a funeral. So this is highly important as well. Fluid is also given for the skin and muscles and to the organs that are still inside the body.
Post Embalming Cleansing:
The body is washed once again to get rid of any chemicals and fluids that has gotten on the skin. Hair and makeup is then taken care of. Wounds, if any, are hidden and the body is dressed.
The deceased is carefully placed inside of the casket and a close eye is kept on them to make sure there are no signs of decomposition before and after wakes. If there is, it’s always taken care of by the mortician. They will also take care of any moderations that the family may point out.
Here are some more details about the embalming process: