As a child, I grew up in two separate funeral homes. My father owned one and my grandfather owned and lived in one. There was not a day when someone wasn’t dying. Many of my childhood memories lead me back to the funeral home. Heck, I even learned to ride my tricycle in the area where all the caskets were kept! Many of my friends would find it neat that I knew all about the place and would always ask me to take them around for a tour. There is a story that I always tell people that happened at my grandpa’s funeral home one unique day. My earliest memory of my grandpa’s house; which was a funeral home, was when I was 8 years old.
The top part of the house was the funeral home, but the bottom part that was underground was where my family lived. Four children were raised there and it was a normal life as we thought. One day I was playing around with my toys in the living room and a call came over the line. My grandma picked up the phone like she normally did and asked all the info that she needed. Soon after, my grandpa and one of the workers went outside and hopped into a hearse to go get this person who had just died. I mean it was their job right? This was a normal everyday occurrence at my grandpa’s house.
I don’t know what else happened during grandpa’s ride that day. When he came back home my life would be forever changed. First, they always get the person out and roll them to the preparation room. Most of the time my grandpa would put them on the table in the prep room and go do other chores. He always had more than one person dead in his place. Yes, I have grown up in it my whole life, so I think I am desensitized to death when I talk about it. He would always go out on another call or go get the person ready for viewing. His business was a very busy one because he also ran the ambulance service back in the day before paramedics came to be.