8. It’s quite weird to move a dead body around.
“Worked in aged care many years ago. Death is a process that can drag on unfortunately. When people eventually passed, we had to clean the bodies, not just poop, etc., but a full body wash, teeth and comb hair. It’s quite weird to move a dead body around.”
9. Working with the dead is very strange; it makes you think about life a lot more.
“I used to work in a medical school as an admissions officer before I had my kids. The school was very proud of its dissection room. It was a huge, hangar-like place just filled with bodies that had been donated to medical science. It’s odd to me to think most medical schools in the UK don’t have them anymore.
I used to give tours of the place and honestly nothing bad happened. Most people were respectful, some morbidly curious. There were stories of students stealing body parts to scare housemates, but I believe they were urban legend.
I’ve seen bodies dissected in ways that I thought alarming. All of them had their heads removed for the dental/maxillofacial surgery students so I’ve stood at the neck hole end of many a specimen while the director of the room gave talks. I also had a parent of one prospective student faint on me. Luckily I caught their head so it didn’t smash on the floor, but that didn’t stop them trying to take us to court.
One day I was alone in there and I was daydreaming but realized I was just starting at the soles of a cadaver’s feet. I thought about first and last steps, how those feet had been applauded when they first walked, and who mourned when they stopped. I unexpectedly burst into tears. I spoke to some students after and told them, they had all had the same type of experience. One student told me about a cadaver of a young girl that was still wearing her sparkly nail varnish; it caused her to cry uncontrollably. They then said they had the opportunity to meet the family of a man who’d donated his body. They told the family they’d all come to same decision, they’d do the same when they died. That brought a lot of comfort to them.
Working with the dead is very strange; it makes you think about life a lot more.”