[ExI] Texas Embalmer Shares Nightmare COVID Experiences: ‘Unlike Anything I’ve Seen Before’

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 15 21:43:28 UTC 2021

                             A deeply moving account of the frustrations
and horrors embalmers are facing in the age of Covid...

"Despite the fact that I specialize in postmortem reconstruction ―
accidents, trauma, stuff like that ― when the bodies are that swollen,
there is very little I can do to eliminate that. And for a lot of these
families, it’s just a tremendous shock. I’ve had husbands and wives die
within days of each other. I’ve seen entire families wiped out. It’s

With this current surge from [the delta variant], I notice we’re not
getting bodies out of the nursing homes like we were the last time, most
likely due to the fact that most of these old nursing home patients have
been vaccinated. Right now the bodies I’m seeing are ranging from the late
20s to the elderly. We’ve had quite a few bodies in their mid-to-late 30s,
40s, 50s. I’ve also noticed that with delta, for the most part, these
people were not spending nearly as much time in the ICU before they die.
Sadly, that’s been to our benefit because they’re not in as bad of a
condition as they were with the last surge.

We’re just doing what we can, but we’re constantly worried about our own
safety while working. At my facility, we’re wearing N95 masks because the
filtration is so much better and it makes it a good positive seal on your
face. I’ve got a mask with a respirator that uses the P100 multivapor
cartridges. Aside from that, we’re wearing our standard personal protective
equipment and taking extra precautions ― keep our faces covered and doing
whatever we can to keep our risks as low as we possibly can. As far as
handling the body goes, if you roll the body, if you put pressure on the
chest, there’s the chance of expelling air from the lungs.

After we get done embalming a body, we pack the nasal passages and
everything else and once it’s bathed well and preserved well, to me, it’s
as safe as it can possibly be and should not pose a risk to the families or
anyone else who comes in contact with it. I really wish we were embalming
them all, but we just don’t have the manpower right now. As far as licensed
embalmers, there’s a definitely a big shortage, especially down here in

Seeing so many of these people who have passed away who shouldn’t have died
in the first place and the husbands and wives passing within days of each
other ― on top of just the mass volume ― is a lot to deal with. Although we
try to distance ourselves professionally as much as possible while doing
our jobs, it wears on us. There are a lot of us that definitely have some
PTSD ― or just traumatic stress. It’s really, really hard."

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