Myth Busting Funeral Facts - Poppy's Funerals

Facts on the work of a funeral Director

by Poppy's Funerals

The body does not need to be embalmed, or sutured
These highly invasive procedures are not necessary. The body can be left in its natural state

Embalming is an invasive process during which the blood in the body, plus everything in the abdominal cavity, is replaced with a chemical mixture including formaldehyde and a pink dye. A pump pushes the mixture into the arteries as the blood is drained from the veins. A sharp surgical instrument used for drainage called a trocar is inserted into the abdominal cavity above the belly button. The razor sharp nib of the trocar punctures the organs and drains away the fluid and gas. 

Embalming slows down the rate of decomposition, and also plumps and pinks up the body. Funeral directors can be keen on embalming because it eases their processes, because once embalmed there is less pressure to keep the person cool. Since funeral directors have been required to get permission to embalm, some have started offering the service to families by referring to it as ‘hygienic treatment’ which is not an accurate description of the invasive process involved. 

Suturing is the process of stitching the mouth closed after death. A needle is inserted through the gums to tie the mouth closed. Eye caps are placed over the eyeballs to keep eyelids shut. How often is consent being given for these invasive procedures? 

Many independent-looking Funeral Directors are not independent

This is important work. Make sure you know who you are employing. When a company buys out another company, it is common practice to keep the original funeral director's name. Nothing wrong with this as long as the family knows who they are employing.

The body is rarely kept at the Funeral Director’s high street shop

Many Funeral Directors operate large ‘hub’ mortuaries, often located many miles from the high street branches they serve. Ask where the body will be cared for.

A hub mortuary means people are cared for off site, possibly far way from the funeral shop front (where relatives often assume the person is being cared for). If the family want to see the body, they will be driven to the shop front, where there is no refrigeration. This is another reason funeral directors can be keen on embalming.