It has been a while since I have posted to YGS but return at least weekly to read new postings, even though I stay rather busy at work, and taking grave photos for findagrave.com requests and etc. I have been a licensed funeral director and embalmer for the past 33 years and hold a National License as well as several state licenses. During this time I have also worked as an organ center procurement technician, as well as 7 years for the Helen Keller Eye and Tissue Bank procurement team. I currently work in a south Texas funeral home doing near 1000 cases per year.
With a little nudging from a YGS friend from South Africa I post another experience here for your review.
Just Monday evening of this week I had returned to the funeral home around 21:45 to retrieve some personal effects as I was starting vacation on Tuesday. For anyone who has ever felt "Watched" while being totally alone in the middle of a 200+ acre cemetery, or anywhere else for that matter, I need say nothing more. This "You are not alone" feeling I felt Tuesday evening led to me thinking of an incident that occurred several years ago while working at a funeral home in the north Alabama area.
I had been called to one of our funeral homes rather early in the evening, just about twilight, to meet the county coroner who was bringing in a murder-suicide for our facility to hold. In that part of the state the county coroner had to rely on the funeral homes to hold decedents on a "rotational basis" until the families had decided which funeral home to use. After leaving both cases in my care, I went to the funeral home office to appease my curiosity over a couple of cases I had just seen in the prep room.
While drinking a cup of leftover coffee, alone in the building and relaxing in the lamp's warm glow I read through their folders and death certificates capturing details of their lives until well past sunset, the entire time feeling at total ease and enjoying the opportunity to relax and learn. After 30 minutes or so I returned to my truck and had started home to enjoy the rest of the evening with my family, and perhaps a couple of cold beers.
I could not have gotten more than 10 miles away when I received the call that we would in fact be retaining both cases and to proceed with the embalming process of both. A little upset that I would not get to see my children that evening, nor those cold beers, I reluctantly returned to the funeral home to begin my arduous task. Pulling into the parking lot I sensed the presence of an unwelcome entity on the premises that I had just left not 20 minutes prior. Immediately I realized that my "home" feeling was gone, and I was not alone!
As I began the embalming process on these cases, I felt as though I was being observed or watched from near the door that led from the prep room into the no longer used bedroom that we now used for storage. While I am fully aware that one can lend themselves to delusions, I had not been in that state of mind prior, nor thought that I was at that time. As I started to embalm the murder victim I felt a rush of emotion like I had never felt before, one of immense sadness. As I continued to the alleged perpetrator, still sensing a presence, I began to see what appeared to be a translucent shadow-like being moving along the wall leading to the garage.
Necrosis is a smell that one cannot soon forget, as anyone who has ever worked in a hospital environment or has attended a loved one with a decubitus ulcer can attest to. But as I observed the shadow, it seemed to stop as if it knew I could see it, move back along the wall from the garage door until it came near the end of the embalming table where I stood. It smelled as if something putrid stood beside me, a smell of decomposition. Once you have worked around it, you NEVER forget. Yet this smell was much stronger than any human decomposition I have ever smelled. As the hair stood up on my arms and neck, and I fought the "fight or flight" response, it began to move slowly away toward the garage door until it was gone, taking that odor with it.
I am not sure what happened there that evening but feel that I was certainly visited by some unworldly entity who may have been there for some reason pertaining to this murder-suicide. I don't know, you tell me, but I didn't stick around to find out once I had completed my task.
BTW, I never got those beers that evening nor saw my children, but turns out I was not alone in the funeral home this past Tuesday evening either. Some nut had infiltrated the funeral home to leave a message for their funeral director for mom's service that was yet 2 weeks away. Reminiscing and expecting another unearthly visitor, I was pretty rude with her in the process of ushering her from the facilities at 9:30PM, long after everyone had went home for the evening. I felt bad for her and my response the following day and called to apologize.