Deathly Afraid Of This

| Right | July 6, 2016

(I work in a mortuary (or ‘morgue’ as they’re called in the US). One of the deceased gentlemen in our care is being visited by his daughter in our chapel of rest. She rings the bell to summon me.)

Woman: “I need to give you something to keep with him”

(This is a fairly normal request. People often like to leave things like photographs and cards with their loved-ones.)

Me: “Of course; I’ll make sure it stays with him.”

Woman: *handing me a sandwich in a bag and a bottle of water* “This is for when he wakes up; I expect he’ll be hungry and thirsty.”

Me: *trying to keep my facial expression neutral* “Uh, for, when… when he wakes up?”

Woman: “Yes, my church group has been praying for him and the church leader says he should wake up any time now. He’s seen it happen lots of times before, firsthand.”

Me: “Uh. Well, okay… I will certainly make sure these stay with him.”

Woman: “And you’ll call me as soon as he wakes up?”

Me: “I promise that if he wakes up, I’ll call you and let you know straight away.”

Woman: *completely seriously and straight-faced* “Thank you. I hope he doesn’t take too long about it.”

(The following day she called in the morning to check whether he was awake. A coworker and I checked, half-afraid of what we might find, but alas he was still deceased and the sandwich and water were untouched. Later that day the woman arrived with her entire church group and introduced me to the leader who explained to me once again, completely straight-faced, that he had successfully managed to resurrect several people before now so was confident he’d be able to in this instance. They stayed a while, praying and singing, then eventually left. ┬áThe deceased never woke up, and he and his sandwich eventually left for the funeral home.)

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