A Very Scary Christmas

 

Have a Very Scary Christmas, Darklings x

Working in a mortuary at Christmas is a balancing act. It’s really important for your sanity that you attempt to stay festive and happy: you put decorations up, maybe even a tree, and eat your weight in mince pies. But at the same time there is a feeling of guilt at enjoying yourself when others suffer such awful loss at what’s supposed to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’. There are many suicides at Christmas – some people don’t want to go through another lonely festive season without family and friends, or perhaps they’re in financial difficulty and can’t face more debt. The cold weather naturally takes many lives at this time of year and also accidents don’t stop simply because everyone is feeling festive. And of course, the hours are long with a lot of time spent ‘on-call’ for Christmas and Boxing Day so it’s difficult to really switch off.

Not my handiwork but certainly been done in my mortuary
Not my handiwork but certainly been done in my mortuary

Previously during the festive season I’ve dealt with the heart-breaking death of a woman who choked on her Christmas dinner, knowing that Christmas for her family will never be the same again. I also dealt with a rather rotund man with a white beard who passed away in a red matching pyjama set. It’s difficult to autopsy a man who looks like Santa on his day off!

But there are more humorous occasions, for example a very dear old man who had been ‘laid out’ by the nurses in quite an old-fashioned way: he was pale with white whispy hair and his chin was fastened with a white scarf, knotted at the top of his head. Of course it made me think of film adaptations of Marley’s Ghost from ‘A Christmas Carol’ so I exclaimed “That man looks just like Bob Marley!” Taking in this thin white man in a body bag, my colleagues thought I’d lost my mind…

Marleys

Also, many nurses and morticians will know that when making a note of jewellery on the deceased (which you must do for every patient) you never write ‘gold’ or ‘silver’ as it’s too presumptuous and could cause problems later with insurance. Instead you write “white metal” or “yellow metal”. Hearing an APT cheerfully singing “Five yellow metal riiiings!” through the echoey fridge room in December was always a nice festive touch!

So for a bit of light relief and Christmas humour I have coined a mortician’s version of one of my favourite festive songs: “Santa Baby”. It has descriptions and pictures so you can see the exact tools of the autopsy trade – the sorts of things a mortician might want in their work Christmas stocking. Enjoy!

Santa_Skull_by_amethyst_raindrops

Mortician’s “Santa Baby”

Santa Baby, slip a scalpel under the tree, for me,

Been an awful good girl, Santa Baby,

So hurry down the chimney tonight.

 

Santa Baby, a PM40 and the blades too, sky blue,

I’ll wait up for you dear, Santa Baby,

So hurry down the chimney tonight.

blades
Scalpel with its larger counterpart the PM40 (commonly with a blue handle)

 

Think of all the heads I’ve sawn,

Think of all the skin I’ve sewn and haven’t torn.

Next year I’ll be just as nice

With a new knife for my brain slice.

Stitches
Typical twine and PM stitches with a large brain knife

 

Santa Baby, I want some pots and really that’s not a lot,

Been an angel all year, Santa Baby,

So hurry down the chimney tonight.

 

Santa Honey, there’s one thing that I really do need, to bleed

This vein into a fresh tube, Santa Honey,

So hurry down the chimney tonight.

 

Histology pots and typical blood tubes
Histology pots and typical blood tubes

Santa Cutie, fill my stocking with some latex and specs,

And I’ll keep my nose clean, Santa Cutie,

And hurry down the chimney tonight.

 

Come and trim my Christmas tree

With every singly type of brand new PPE.

I really do believe in you,

Let’s see if you believe in me.

Mask, latex gloves, safety specs and other PPE like my fave 'splash shield'
Mask, latex gloves, safety specs and other PPE like my fave ‘splash shield’

Santa Baby, forgot to mention one little ask, a mask,

To protect me from sprays, Santa Baby,

So hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry, tonight…x

Have a Very Scary Christmas, Darklings x
Have a Very Scary Christmas, Darklings x
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5 thoughts on “A Very Scary Christmas

  1. Cute 🙂 Kinda creepy thinking of a hall full of morticians in christmas moods while cutting in dead peeps.
    And what’s up with not being able to write gold or silver?! Lol.

    1. If you write “gold” and the item is merely tinted or plated, not real gold, the family may try to get more from the insurance company, as the morgue’s report may be considered factual evidence. If you don’t have the equipment or documents to prove what metal it is, just describe it and leave it at that. No legal hassles for the morgue or staff.

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