|By Bob Weaver 2023
This is a torturous story from my days as a mortician, the event happening in Clay County WV.
Carl Wilson Funeral Home received a request to disinter the body of a woman resting in Ivydale, moving her to another cemetery.
The task required the presence of a mortician, and I got the assignment.
We arrived at the rural cemetery with a new box for the remains, two grave diggers and a helper from the funeral home.
The diggers opened the grave to discover the woman in what was left of a wooden casket and "rough box," a floating corpse surrounded by stringent water.
I asked the gravediggers and my assistant to pull the corpse out the grave, the embalmed skin on the body barely clinging. They advised me that was what I was being paid the big bucks to do.
After a fews slugs of vodka, I got down on my belly, reaching around the woman's shoulders and raising her to the top of the grave.
When her head surfaced it suddenly decapitated and rolled over the hill, to be caught in a fence. The grave diggers and my assistant broke into a fast run out of the cemetery.
Despite being filled with the spirits, I lacked the wherewithal to retrieve it, asking my helpers for assistance. They declined. After taking a couple of swigs from the bottle, I took a plastic bag over the hill to finish the task.
We all pitched in to professionally place her remains in her new container, sealed it and took her to her new resting place.
Fortunately, it was a once in a lifetime event.
Reflecting on my life as an alcoholic mortician, there were many times drinking seemed to help with facing tragedies and trauma, worsened during the many years of providing ambulance service.
When discussing my drinking problem as a mortician, many people would say, "If I was doing that, I'd drink too." At times it seemed to help, getting sober and abandoning the profession 44 years ago
Since that time, with a longtime professional association in helping treat several thousands of addicts and alcoholics, I think I would have had the problem anyway.