Deathling to Watch: Mortuary School Blogueuse

Two years ago, when I got a rare email on the Order of the Good Death account, I was thrilled. Someone wants to talk to ME?! About DEATH?@! A zillion hurrahs! Since then, I’ve answered every single email I’ve received.

But as the Order of the Good Death expands, I keep trying to find ways to make everything more streamlined and functional. That’s why I was so happy to discover Marissa Segreto, a young lady with a fantastic blog The Mortuary Student.

Here she is wearing a shark costume. What is not to love?

Marissa writes both detailed (and brutally honest) blog posts about the rigors of mortuary school.

“What I am new to is formaldehyde.

We used a different preservative back in high school, one that smelled rather pleasantly of mint and disinfectant. Formaldehyde smells a lot like acetone nail polish remover, which is understandable, as they’re both in the aldehyde family of chemicals. However, there’s something about formaldehyde.. Ick. Just ick. I could feel it coming in through my mask and just coating my lungs and esophagus. I had just come from a funeral that day and I hadn’t had any time to eat, so I went in with an empty stomach, and even though I was so interested and enthusiastic, that smell just hit me off guard and I’m ashamed to say that I gagged and was extremely shaky throughout most of the dissection. Now I know better, of course, and I’m never going to go into a dissection on an empty stomach again.”

I am a big fan of her writing (I think a lot of you will be as well) so I asked her if she might be willing to partner with the Order as our mortuary student-in-residence. Which means she would be the one to answer the technical questions sent to the Order about becoming a mortician and mortuary school.

Her blog is found here and her brand new Twitter is here. Happy to have you on board, my dear! All official Order meetings are held in shark costume — I’m so glad you already have one.

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  • Bob Caron

    New Blood in the Order. Not that the Old Blood was stale or anything, but the more the merrier.

  • Now the entire internet knows about my Avengers poster/Captain America shield wall combo. Many thanks, Caitlin! :]

  • raikrish

    My advice is do not attend mortuary school unless you have a pending apprenticeship in the area that you want to live….almost two years out and still no apprenticeship!

  • Jill

    This makes me so excited! I’m in my first semester of school, too, but I’m taking online classes AAMI. Seeing you slice and dice makes me a little jealous and being surrounded with other students would be awesome, but I still have to earn a living while in school.

    I have a ton of questions, most of which are about gaining experience. Aside from my few months of school, I have zero experience in a funeral home (I’m really just flying on my own morbid ambition.) So I guess most of my questions have to do with what happens when you finish school and being properly prepared. I have a ton of admin/bookkeeping/customer service experience, but am nervous as to how to transition it to this field; I think that’s what’s tripping me up when I meet with area funeral directors. I don’t want to lose focus on my grades and school work, but should I already be applying for apprenticeships I won’t qualify for until 3 semesters from now? I do want to relocate to an area that seems to have a need for FD’s. Am I overreacting in worrying that I’ll take a job at one of those corporate monstrosities that pay completely on commission out of desperation and ending up hating life? This is really what I want to do with my life, but I’m just terrified of it blowing up in my face when I’m in loan debt and still working as a secretary. Any insight you have would be very appreciated. Sorry if I overloaded you on your first day!

    • Hey, Jill! Feel free to shoot me an email any time ( Most of this is heresay from students further in the program from me, my program director and my student adviser, but YES. Start networking now! Just a few phone calls or some drop ins. The earlier your start networking the better! My adviser told me to get on it like yesterday. (No, not really, he wants me to try to start calling around Christmas.) Applying maybe not so much, but at least snooping around and chit-chatting. As for the corporate monstrosities, that’s something I’m a little less qualified to answer. If you’re certified, you probably WON’T end up as a secretary. But there are inevitably going to be jobs you work that you hate, and if your ties to the death industry are strong enough, it should be relatively easy to find a job. Like I said, feel free to email me if I haven’t put your fears to rest.