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My mother, Virginia, passed away on Friday, between midnight and 2:30 in the morning. This week is filled with the wake, funeral, family, and figuring out all kinds of riddles, from where my mother’s dog will wind up, to what sort of catering is appropriately somber. (No wings!)

There have been several occasions where I wanted to write a post:

– What is the training for a funeral parlor employee?

– How many casket making companies are there in this country?

– What is the title of the individuals who remove a body from a home?

Among others.  It may seem glib, but death-related occupations are somewhat fascinating. It must be interesting to work in a field where you’re pretty much guaranteed that you’ll never run out of business. That said, I simply don’t have the time to write a full post this week, and part of me doubts that I’ll feel inclined to pen next week’s post about her passing. But it strikes me as so odd that the wedding industry gets so much attention, while the funeral industry seems to be its unrecognized goth twin sister.

Thank you everyone for your support and kind wishes, your emails, donations, and eyes on the screen. It’s kept me from coming unglued over the past five months, and I’m truly grateful.

If you, or someone you know, is in the market for a dog, I now have a four-year-old Havanese named Nigel, who is afraid of men and children, and resembles a very excitable ottoman. He’s a good boy, if a little eccentric. Drop me a line, AinsleyDrew at gmail dot com if you’re interested.



  1. Several of my friends and me have all considered applying for jobs with the Batesville Casket Company at one time or another, but living and working right in Mississippi’s thorax didn’t seem like a good idea.

    I’m sorry for your loss. Hope things become better for you, soon.

  2. *hugs*

  3. I’ve never found the right words to express condolences over the death of a loved one, so I’ll simply say that my thoughts and prayers go out to you. The last week has seen the loss of my great-uncle, my wife’s last remaining grandparent and a friend’s sister. Seems a bad week for people I know.

    My heart goes out to you in this time. If you need ears, or more accurately, eyes, you know how to reach me. I suspect Simon will suffice, but just in case…

  4. So sorry for your loss Ainsley.

    I don’t know the answer to the questions you post above but I do know that in the Jewish tradition the body isn’t left alone until it’s buried as quickly as possible.

    I grew up in a tiny town with a tinier Jewish community and everyone would have to go take turns to sit with the body when someone died. It wasn’t a job related to making a living but it was something that really turned our attention to life. All we have, really, is each other.

    I’m glad to know even a tiny bit of you and your amazing lens on life via twitter. If it can bring comfort I’d gladly come sit with you or your mum. Or [virtual sit].<3

  5. So sorry to hear about your mother. My mother died six years ago and I still miss her every day (even though she was sick for so long and barely human). Good luck in finding a home for the doggy and all the logistic stuff you have to deal with when someone passes.

    They have mortuary schools for funeral parlor morticians, but I’m not quite sure what all the jobs in a funeral parlor are. I actually considered going to mortuary school, but didn’t. I think I’d be good at it.

  6. My dad has always remarked that they serve better food at funerals, usually quite loudly, when at a funeral.

    That being said, I’d rather eat in McDonalds which says a lot.

    I did have a friend who dated a kid whose dad owned the local funeral parlour. She used to say they made out on the slab but years later she confessed it was always locked up and she never even went inside the shop.

    Still it was a good story.

    Anyway, I’m really sorry for your loss. Keep on going, time makes everything more bearable in the longterm.

  7. My condolences.

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