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Back when I was an undertaker(s) apprentice (partial story)

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posted on Apr, 24 2020 @ 03:08 AM
So a friend of mine and I were talking on Facebook and somehow a discussion about how I was a Cemetery worker came to fruition. I wasn't quite an undertaker, although basically that's what I was primed up to be before some major budget cuts came into play. I lost my job but loved every bit of it. Jimmy Hoffa's Brother was even buried in out Cemetery. I won't give his name but I will list the cemetery. Park Hill Cemetery, Minnesota. If you wan't to do some digging you can do that on your own time lol. Pardon the grammatical errors in the following texts as it is a straight copy and past from my Facebook.
Reply to Zesde

I worked as "general maintenance" My first day on the job I ended up driving one of the most expensive driving lawn mowers into the pond. I hadn't been working for more than an hour on my first day. The Forman drove up to me in his truck and pulled the cap of his head and slapped it on the side door he was on.. "You drove her into the pond!"
"I'm sorry, Pete".
He looks at me. "C,mon, lets go get the chain". Then slaps the hat back on his head with a smile lol. We walked into the main building as he says to me, "Hey come here real quick". We go into this room in the corner of this long hall where there are about 7 bodies in cardboard boxes at a time. He chuckles to me and says, "How do you like your ribs, crispy, or well done?" And lifts this crematory stove open and I see this african american man being disinigrated, chest collapsing before me. I was a little aught off guard but intrigued, lol. The first year I mostly mowed grass, cut down trees and helped maintain graves and mosoleums. The second year I worked there I was being trained in on digging graves with the backhoe (tractor) and the Crematorium. I wasn't licensed or anything, but Peggy, the funeral home director had her husband and the Forman Pete train me directly. I even got to sift through the bones with a magnet. YOu wouldn't believe the # we pulled from peoples ashes. Gold teeth, wholes metal bones, bullets, coins, paper clips.

posted on Apr, 24 2020 @ 03:29 AM
While working at that same cemetery I was talking about I witnessed all sorts of different religious burials.. The most beautiful one I had ever experienced was a Laos burial. They had hundreds of their family members there, all from different continents. The grave was set in a direction differently than any traditional burial. The entirety of the people showed their sadness, and then their happiness for their life. They brought gifts and shared tears and laughter and this went on for hours. That very day I remember sitting on my mower in silence as it was a standard procedure when burials were taking place. I remember glancing down at my hands at thinking to myself, " Look at all of these cracks and crevasses.. Some day they will be withered and broken, someday I will be here but not on this mower but in that box". I remember staring at my hands and watching the leaves fall around me as it was near autumn. Now and then I glance down at my hands and it's been a way to gauge my memories. I've been doing it since High school. There have been times where I forget if I'm dreaming or awake and I have to look down at my hands to realize which version I am. In my dreams no matter the setting I always see the leaves fall around me.

posted on Apr, 24 2020 @ 05:36 AM
Although macabre, that was beautifully written. Don't know if it's truly biographical but you certainly had atmosphere and tone; kind of like Edgar Allen Poe. It was a mood.

posted on Apr, 24 2020 @ 07:25 AM

originally posted by: MadSeason313
I lost my job but loved every bit of it.

When I was far younger, I used to play chess with a guy nicknamed Digger. He loved his job too. I've often wondered if he had been taken by his own profession.


posted on Apr, 24 2020 @ 03:23 PM
a reply to: MadSeason313

More please, really enjoyed that. You are a wonderful writer. Loved the hands comments. Thank you!

posted on Apr, 24 2020 @ 10:08 PM
a reply to: MadSeason313

I always thought that being a 'groundsman' would be a particularly quiet and contemplative job.

Never even thought of the stress of putting a lawnmower into a pond!

Your writing is really interesting. There is something 'open' and, perhaps, 'vulnerable' (except that isn't quite the right word) in it.

Continue, please.

As an aside, I had a job running data cables in a teaching hospital. In the Sydney summer, it was good to be inside in an air-conditioned building.

Basically, you'd pull some more cable out of the box, where it was rolled, and then you'd climb the ladder and cable tie it into the cable tray that ran alongside the service pipes, which were all color coded depending upon their purpose.

Usually, the air temperature at the top of the ladder is warmer than down at floor level, few people probably realize that, and so it was good moving closer down the long winding corridors that led to the basement. The air-con getting better and better, the deeper we went.

I actually commented to Kevin, who was working with me, about how good the air-con was.

Then we turned the corner, leading into the next section of corridor. There were about 12 coffins propped up against he walls, and the penny dropped.

posted on Apr, 30 2020 @ 11:39 PM
a reply to: Snarl

What was Digger's profession?

posted on May, 1 2020 @ 12:24 AM
I was 17 years old when I started working for Park Hill, 19 when I was let go due to the budget cuts. The summer before that when I was still 18 I was temporarily released from my job because... well, not enough people were dying. Cremations were higher in demand with the lower income families as it was about 2/3 cheaper than a burial process. There are so many fee's when it comes to dying, the state will even tax your death, how silly is that. Losing my job because of not enough people dying instantly sparked a story in my mind. I thought about an Undertaker who was struggling financially about to lose his mother, his funeral home license, overall his career. How he was pushed to a desperation he had never known, to a point where his fantasies overlapped his reality.. The undertaker preyed upon the thugs and criminals in his town and would eventually break the veil of madness. He hunted down the worst scum and criminals and eventually was the one to put the last nail in their coffin, and saving his business. Later he learned he learned his Mothers illness was an excuse to save his career.. he was a Sociopath and he enjoyed the killing. Eventually I got lazy and never put the finer detail into the story and it got lost in the endless pile of notebook paper filled with scribbles and garble.
It was probably late June or early July when I got the call from my old co worker, Wade. I remember him calling me with his usual raspy voice," Hey, you done pulling on your pecker? We have work today!" It was probably close to 6:30AM and I had just pulled an all nighter drinking 7 cans of Dr. Pepper and playing World of Warcraft. I remember glancing over at my window and seeing the dull blue sky staring back at me, the dryness in my eyes and the reluctance in my voice, "Yeah"
"Alright, i'm on my way" *Click..
Later that Morning,

I could feel a sprinkle hit my face. I pulled the cap off my head as I leaned back in my heavy duty lawn mower. I caught a good glimpse of the path before me before I tilted my head back and closed my eyes.. embracing the rain as it continued to strike my exposed face and forearms. I pulled the mower bars back so I was only going at a crawl. I wanted to enjoy the cool breeze as the refreshing raindrops revitalized me as I was near falling asleep right before then. To be honest I hardly remember much before this particular thought. I'm good at remember particular days but the lack of sleep had caught up to me until this sprinkles "awoke" the memory bank.

As the sprinkles faded and I felt my eyelids begin to heavy I decided to light up a menthol smoke. I struggled to light my smoke because of the wind but I prevailed when I used my ball cap. It was the first drag of the day so I remember this little nicotine high and it motivated me to tackle one of the harder sections in the cemetery to mow... Baby Land. Yes, it is exactly as it sounds. It was a section for all of the infant deaths, most of them being stillborn. Quick side story. There was a man name Charlie who worked at Park Hill with us. He was in his 50's and the others guys all told me he was Gay, which I never really cared because He never seemed any different to me and always had the coolest stories to tell. He was the one who first took me on a tour around the whole cemetery on the Gator. He was genuinely excited about it and was the one who let me in on the secret about the "Hoffa" at our Park. Anyway, I was puffing on my menthol and pressed pace to Baby Land. Ashes flew into my sunglasses and face as my cigarette burned shorter with each passing puff. The sleeplessness hit me with a euphoria I had never experienced in my life at the time. I was listening to my headphones "What it is to burn (acoustic) by a band called Finch", and making tight calculated maneuvers while mowing Baby Land. I noticed a mourning couple by a monument not too far from me so I parked my mower and let them have their moment. The breeze was picking up and pushing to one side of my mower, as well as making a visit short for the couple. I was starting to doze off so i was thinking "good they are gone". I started my mower back up and continued my work. I had worked my way around the center piece monument to baby land where the couple had been standing. The sprinkles started back up as I felt them strike my cheek. My music volume was full blast. I began to drift off just as I heard this loud *BUZZ* over my head phones and felt the vibration under my mower. I snapped out of it instantly, looked back to see all this blue fluff being spat out of my mower, and then a full Teddy Bear head come flying straight into the sky above me about 20 ft high. My heart sank... I had just mowed over the baby's fresh new Teddy. The couple hadn't put it down more than 5 minutes before I chopped it into pieces. I felt TERRIBLE. I jumped of my mower with my hands in my hair wondering what i was going to do. I popped my head around the monument and the couple were still winding the corner in their car out of the cemetery. I promised the baby I was so so sorry and I would make it up to them somehow.

I look back and laugh at it now. I was just a stupid kid who smoked cigarettes who never wanted to sleep.

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