I’d Like To Reschedule My Death For Later

, , , , | Right | January 18, 2019

(I’m the goof in this story. Earlier this year, my brother died. He had lived on the other side of the state. The rest of the family made plans to come to town a few weeks later for a memorial service. My kids and I planned to drive over and meet them. Since it is over a three-hour drive away, we plan to stay the night and then go to a park nearby the next day. I make hotel arrangements that actually include park entry. Since they are discounted, they are nonrefundable. My family also texts me with different information to pass on to the funeral home. On the day of the service, I go to pick up my daughter early from school. My other daughter is already with me. Unfortunately, one daughter misjudges a step and falls badly on her knee, causing clear and serious damage. We drive straight to the hospital. While in the waiting room, I make a flurry of phone calls to let people know we’ll miss the service. My last call is to the hotel. I scroll through my phone and press the number with the proper area code, assuming it is the hotel. It is a bit noisy in the waiting room, so I do not hear what is said when they answer.)

Me: “Hello. I have reservations for today, but we’ve had a bit of an emergency. Is there any way I can reschedule for next month?”

Voice On Phone: “What?”

Me: “My daughter has dislocated her kneecap, so won’t be able to walk. Can we reschedule?”

Voice On Phone: “Who are you calling?”

Me: “[Hotel]?”

Voice On Phone: “You’ve reached the funeral home.”

Me: “Oops! Rescheduling with you would be a bad idea.”

(I did laugh, which caused a lot of odd stares in the waiting room. What must the funeral home have thought?! I should post on Not Always Hopeless that once I did call the right number, the hotel was incredibly kind and moved our reservation for us at no additional cost. We got there for my daughter’s birthday, and with her knee brace on, she played all day.)

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Grandma Had A Pet Name

, , , , , | Right | November 2, 2017

(I work in a pet mortuary with a very obvious name that also services local veterinary offices.)

Caller: “Hello, is this [Pet Mortuary]?”

Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I was calling because I need to get a cremation done.”

Me: “Okay, what’s the pet’s name?”

Caller: “Grandma.”

(This is not unusual; people have called in before with pets named “Mama” or “Bro.” The caller proceeds to have an outpouring of emotion about how much they’re gonna miss Grandma, going on near ten minutes. Eventually, I am able to get a word in edgewise.)

Me: “Okay, sir, what kind of pet did you say this was?”

Caller: “Pet? No! I need to cremate my grandmother!”

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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.  The deceased never woke up, and he and his sandwich eventually left for the funeral home.)

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