EPISODE 20 — She Went To Be With Jeeesusss
While there are seldom “funny” or laughable things connected to a death, the story here WAS funny. I just hope to be able to describe it right! I think the Disneyland episode didn’t get the justice it deserved due to not being able to tell the story on paper in just the same funny way I have delivered it verbally. I guess one just really had to be there, to get the full measure of that event. But here I will try my best…
I will stick my scrawny mouse-neck out here and go ahead to assume that most people who are reading this have not witnessed a person’s death first-hand. You know, like front-row seating witnessed. For those who have had the occasion to do so, they may know what I mean, as I talk about this ‘look’ seen on some of the faces of the deceased, when they expire or just afterward. It is downright off-putting, the first time or two that you see it. It causes one to wonder: what are they LOOKING AT? Or, were they looking at? It just makes you want to reach right out and quickly close those eyelids…then that weird question in your mind instantly goes away.
When CJ was working in a major service center in the big city she was assigned with another girl, Patty, to work the late evening shift. They were the only two embalmers on duty and the place would be quiet. CJ said she and Patty got on famously with each other, and they’d have fun, in spite of the grim surroundings of death and dead bodies, and the tragedy of it all. NOTHING disrespectful or offensive mind you. Both girls enjoyed a little gallows humor. Hey, who could fault them for trying to find something to lift their spirits in a ‘dead place’ like the mortuary basement?
(Very punny, Morguie. Punny indeed.) J
The first thing they would do is go over the roster of embalmings to get done. The day crew usually pulled the bodies they’d need for night shift from the coolers before they left, and leave them in the alcove outside of the prep-room. So on one particular evening, CJ and Patty were getting ready to roll the metal tables, with their respective bodies on each, into the embalming room. CJ stopped to pull the sheet back on her case…a young man, male Hispanic. A Gang-related death, MS13. Lots of those, in that huge city, unfortunately; CJ estimates about 20-25% of her cases (in the city) were made up of gang members. Stab wounds on arms and chest. Tattoos everywhere. Maybe a GSW (gun shot wound). She’d know more after she unwrapped him. Oddly, he wasn’t fully posted. This means the coroner’s office was swamped in a big way, as the coroner’s office generally posts EVERY homicide.
Meanwhile, Patty does the same. Embalmers just DO this. They always like to take a quick look under the sheet to see what they have there. CJ said she knows why they do that down in the big city: the embalmers just hope they can look to see the ‘easier’ cases before someone else sees it. Then they hot-foot it into the work area, claiming their stake, thereby leaving the ‘difficult’ case to the poor guy still suiting up or on his lunch break. A difficult case would be a time-consuming body; full posts (autopsied) are an example of a time-consuming case. It requires a completely different injection strategy, separate cavity treatment, putting the calvarium together, plus a LOT of suturing to close everything up. Cases that have major facial trauma or other visible tissue destruction are considered ‘difficult’ as well.
Patty’s case is that of an elderly, frail little woman. The lady had a very familiar expression on her face. One that most embalmers have seen hundreds of times. CJ calls it the “Jeeesusss” look. This expression commonly includes mouth agape and the eyes are open, but “fixed on” something; almost as if the last thing they saw was perhaps,, Jesus standing before them, perhaps holding his arms open, gesturing to them to come to Him.
Okay, that IS a bit dramatic, but CJ admits this is what she envisions. Honestly, wouldn’t that be the most awesome last thing to lay your eyes on, though?
Imagine being in the final throes of death, as you draw in the very last breath, you open your eyes and… THERE’S JESUS!!
Whoa, that thought just scares me to death! Holy wordplay, Batman!
So, CJ remarks to Patty as they roll the tables into the room, “Awww! Look, Patty, that sweet little lady has gone to be with Jeeesusss!” Patty giggles as CJ mimics a voice like a televangelist. CJ giggles, too.
A few minutes later, CJ had the young Hispanic man unwrapped, and was checking the i.d. tags on him. Patty was working right beside her in the next space, only a foot away.
“Oh my God, Patty!” CJ exclaimed, as she began to laugh. “She really DID go to be with Jeeesusss…”
Patty, looking puzzled, asked her what the heck she was laughing about.
CJ pointed down at the toe tag: Martinez, J e s u s.
© 2013, C.S. Thompson.
- Aaron Hernandez Gets Support From Snoop Dogg on Instagram Despite Bloods-Crips Conflict (Photo) (nesn.com)
- Men sprayed gunfire into Moody Manor (toledoblade.com)
- Man found in vehicle shot 3 times in back (toledoblade.com)
- FBI – Hoover Five-Deuce Crip Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Newark Assault of FBI Special Agent (gloucestercitynews.net)
- Gang leader arrested on gun and domestic violence charges (trentonian.com)
- Gangs at root of spasm of gun violence in Jersey City, former police official says (nj.com)