Ask a Mortician Ep 5

Look what we have here!  New Ask a Mortician, Episode 5.  Space Corpses, Grease Fires, & Hair Jewelry, oh my!

I had help with this episode from two expert women-folk.  The first is author Mary Roach, whose book Stiff is an absolute staple of popular death.  I was on NPR in Connecticut a few weeks ago with Ms. Roach (talkin’ about death, obviously) and she was pleasant and informative enough for me to overcome my insecurities and ask for deathxpert help for this video.   Spoiler alert:  her answer is amazing.

Second expert woman-folk is the obnoxiously talented Ariel Hart, animator and one of my inner sanctum ladyfriends.  I have wanted to do some Ask a Mortician animation for awhile now and luckily I happen, by the grace of GAWWDD, to know more artists/musicians/writers/filmmakers than I deserve.  See more of her work here and prepare to fall in love.



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  • I actually have a rather bizarre question (but aren’t they all bizarre?), one that I wish I’d known the answer to when my father was cremated BUT. I saw in episode 2 that you must process the bones further before handing over the ashes to the family and that got me thinking: if I was to ask for some of the unprocessed bones, like when I requested some of the ashes be put into a necklace I had for just such a purpose (it’s Anubis, thought you might like that), would you be allowed to do that? Or would it violate a health code/law? Also, how intact are the skulls post-cremation? Thanks!

  • PBG

    I saw this article today and thought it was just up your alley:

    I kinda wanna go to that convention.  My professional conventions are not nearly that fun – although one of them did drink a city out of beer a couple years ago…

  • Razame de la Crackers

    Forget the Chocolate Remains Cake! I wants a Space Burial! Yes Shooting Star, Cosmic Burn Out–I’m calling those new private Space companies right now 2 make my reservation! Yay!

  • Pashta

    Hi Mortician (don’t know your name)  Keep it up!!!   Your videos are full of clear information, but hilarious.   How many places can you go where death is treated seriously (re information), but with very articulate humour?  The world needs you.   By the way, did you realize that you are the mortician equivalent of Abby (forensic scientist) on the TV show NCIS?   You even look like her.   I know lots of people who watch the show just for Abby’s bit — and you are just as articulate (about your science) and funny as she is.   P.S. another note about hair (re good reason to keep a lock as a keepsake) — hair carries all of the elements of the rest of the body (that is why it can be used to determine nutrient condition of the body).   So when you keep it as a keepsake, you really are keeping a full representation of the body of the person that you loved.   Pashta MaryMoon, co-director of CINDEA (Canadian Integrative Network for Death Education and Alternatives) , and Death Midwifery for Journeying Beyond

  • Chris’s Flowers

    I actually make the memorial jewelry. I haven’t had anyone ask me to do the hair or ashes yet. I have done lots of flower beads.