The only thing the entire human race has in common is death. It is sad, but it is the truth. One of the greatest things about humanity, especially here in the U.S., is that you can make money doing anything. This brings us to one of the most underappreciated occupations, morticians. Morticians are an important aspect of our way of living. Morticians — also known as funeral directors — are responsible for making our loved ones who have passed look presentable during an open casket wake or funeral. They also help with the burying or cremation process.
Without morticians, open casket funerals would be a disaster and there would be dead bodies piling up in the streets! Although our society is grateful for the people in this profession, most people don’t know much about it.
Interviews have been conducted with three morticians with the goal of learning more about the people that help us out in our time of need. All three of the people interviewed work at a funeral home in this great state of Wisconsin.
Jonathan Dough is a 68-year-old mortician from Racine, Wis.
“Although I am surrounded by sadness and grief, I am honored that the wonderful people of Racine trust that I will plan their funerals and that I will carefully and delicately preserve the body of their loved ones,” said Jonathan Dough when asked about what keeps him going in a business engulfed in sadness.
Jane D. Muerta is a beloved mortician from the city of De Pere, Wis. She is one of the longest serving morticians in the state. This August will mark 85 years in the business.
When asked what has motivated Jane to continue supporting her community for this long, she said, “What keeps me going is the idea that I have built connections with all the people of De Pere and I have always been there for them. If I were to hang up the embalming tools now, I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking of all the people that need support through their grief.”
Morty Cadere is a funeral director in Janesville, Wis., and he is trying his best to shed light on the struggles that come along with the profession.
“Ugh, those dead bodies are so icky. E ew ew,” said Mr. Cadere when asked what the biggest struggle of being a mortician is. “You ever heard of embalming? Yeah, it’s GROSS!” he continued.
As you can see, Morty approaches his profession a little bit differently than most. Some might wonder why he got into this profession.
The next question for these heroes is: how much does it mean to you that people come to you in one of the saddest moments of life, and trust you to take care of them?
“I can’t even put into words how much it means to me, so I won’t.” said Jonathan Dough.
“Like I said before, that’s the only reason I have done this for almost 90 years. The fact that they trust me to handle their loved ones with care, it brings a tear to my eye. It means the world to me and I hope I can be there for the citizens of De Pere for another 100 years,” answered Jane D. Muerta.
“What? Ummmm yeah that part is cool I guess, but have I said how disgusting the dead bodies are? They’re all cold and heavy and like if you say something funny it doesn’t matter how funny it is — they won’t laugh. Death seems like it sucks!” replied Mr. Cadere.
The morticians we talked to today show so much compassion it is inspiring. Lastly, the pillars of their communities were asked what they think makes them excel at their profession.
“I think my comfort and care is what stands out to the people of Racine. The trust that I keep receiving from families is what makes me better at my job,” answered Jonathan Dough, seeming to copy Jane’s answer from earlier.
“I would say my experience allows me to excel. When you’ve done something for almost a century, you really learn the ins and outs. I have seen everything and I know how to handle any situation,” said Jane D. Muerta.
“Well, the fact that I can’t fucking stand those disgusting lifeless sacks of bones and organs makes me pretty darn good at making them look presentable. I mean, I am so damn good some people show up to their loved ones funeral and say ‘Look - uncle so and so isn’t dead anymore,’ and that just warms my heart,” said Morty.
As you can see, these caring people are very involved in their communities. They act as another family member to the people of their cities. Being a mortician is a tough job and hopefully this body of work will lead to citizens all across the nation gaining respect for morticians. Jane and Jonathan are very lovely people that will continue to be there for their community. And Morty, well, Morty is a weirdo.