Adrienne Zetty Barrows in fully licensed funeral director, embalmer, crematory retort operator, and life, health and accident insurance producer. She has an academic background in Religion, Philosophy, and Psychology, and strong community development and educational outreach skills. Adrienne is committed to the values and standards of independent and family-owned funeral homes.
INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):
· Insight Into The Mortician Profession
· Themed Funerals!!! #MardiGras
· Let’s Talk Embalming
· Paranormal Activity In Funeral Homes
· Can’t Escape Karen – She Shows Up At The Funeral Home Too
· COVID-19 Burnout
· Accept That You Can Die At ANY Age – You Are Not Guaranteed To Get Old
· Dangers In Donating Your Body To Science
· The Importance Of Life Insurance
CONNECT WITH DE’VANNON:
· Pray Away Documentary (NETFLIX)
o TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_CqGVfxEs
· OverviewBible (Jeffrey Kranz)
· Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed (Documentary)
· Leaving Hillsong Podcast With Tanya Levin
· Upwork: https://www.upwork.com
· FreeUp: https://freeup.net
VETERAN’S SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
· Disabled American Veterans (DAV): https://www.dav.org
· American Legion: https://www.legion.org
· What The World Needs Now (Dionne Warwick): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfHAs9cdTqg
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Adrienne Zetty Barrows
You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to! And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right at the end of the day. My name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world as we dig into topics that are too risqué for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your life.
There is nothing off the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.
De’Vannon: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for tuning in to the Sex Drugs in Jesus podcast. I’m your host of. And today I have with me a lovely woman by the name of Adrian Zeti Bar. Adrian is a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer, a crematory retort operator, and life health and accident insurance producer. So in the day’s show,
we’re gonna be talking a lot about death, and we’re gonna give you an [00:01:00] inside look into the life and profession of a mortician. We’re gonna talk about covid 19 implications, paranormal activity in funeral homes, the importance of life insurance people please it. Life insurance, like seriously. Uh, the dangers in donating your body to science, cuz it’s not always what it seems.
And the fact that you need to accept that you can die at any age and that you’re not guaranteed to get old. Please listen seriously and please share this with someone you love.
Hello all you delicious souls out there and welcome back to the Sex Drugs in Jesus podcast. I’m your host, Devon, and I’m here with my homegirl Adrian Zeti, who is a mortician.
Yes. I’m talking with a woman who deals with the dead today, darling. And I cannot wait to get into it. How the fuck is you doing?
Adrienne: I am so excited. I just finished my funeral directors and morticians have [00:02:00] difficult schedules most of the time, so I’m just finishing up my 10 day. So I am doing absolutely nothing today except for talking with you, which I’m very excited about.
De’Vannon: I’m excited to have made it on your schedule. So I want to read over a few statistics before we get into like the questions. And so, you know, it is very rare you come across a mortician unless somebody didn’t died, you know, you, you know, as a friend or in passing. And so this is a very, very interesting career field that a lot of people just, it’s just not talked about.
So, absolutely. You know, it’s not, it’s not like you’re gonna be at dinner and be like, oh, so, you know, I was dealing with this body the other day, or whatever the case may mean. So, So in my research, and this, this website that I pulled this information from is called Zia, Z i P P I a.com. It says there are over 22,000 funeral [00:03:00] directors currently in the United States.
64.7% of them are men, and about 35% of them are women. I was pleased to, to research that women are paid the same as men. Kinda.
Adrienne: No, it’s true. It’s true. But so you have to look at, typically if you have a male dominated field, when women start coming into that field, rather than women’s base pay rising to meet their men’s, more often than not it the average salary goes down, sadly enough.
So but yeah. So with assertiveness and shrewd salary negotiations typically yet is, it, is. It is pretty equal. And I would like to point out, yes, it is majority male field at the moment, but all, almost any funeral school, any funeral program is gonna have a majority of women in it at this point nowadays.
So all of the new funeral directors, so people coming into the field right now are by and large [00:04:00] majority women. For instance, in my graduating class, I think one, I think there was one guy, maybe two guys made it. I’m not sure there’s one. I don’t think he passed final. But but the, you know, 90% of the class was female.
De’Vannon: Do you think that that has to do with a breakdown of the patriarchy? I think,
Adrienne: I think it has to do with. Hmm, that’s a good question. I think it has to do with women. The value that women add to funeral services is it’s kind of unique. There’s a certain kind of warmth, I think, and a tenderness that we bring to it.
Not to say that we’re not all tough broads, you know what I mean? Like we can still hold our own with, of fellas in terms of the physical demands and the emotional demands of it. But I think there’s a certain there’s a certain qua I think that women add to funeral service, and I think that’s appreciated by families.
And [00:05:00] so I think women, well, you know, when I first started I think a lot of families kind of would see a female funeral director and think it was like the B team coming out. So I know that’s your eyebrow raises exactly how I would feel the couple of times that I’ve encountered that. But as soon as they, they experience the kind of service that we’re, you know, that, that women offer, I think that that.
Breaks down any kind of misgivings that people have because it is a traditionally male career. So, Hmm.
De’Vannon: Well, well, yeah, I would say then that then it, it’s probably along that patriarchal like breakdown. Cause what, what you’re saying is they didn’t think that you could do it just cuz you’re a girl and Correct.
But the proof’s in the pudding and, you know, the world is changing now and it’s not all about old white men running every fucking thing anymore. Exactly.
Adrienne: Exactly. And if you notice, it’s old white men, bless their hearts [00:06:00] that have kind of painted the industry in a corner to a certain extent. You know, it’s, it’s the old, I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie The Big Lebowski, but there’s a scene where one of the characters dies and they go to the Mortician Hall says, this is our most modestly, you know what I mean?
There’s a certain kind of attitude or approach to funeral directing and how, you know, how we monetize the services that we offer people, you know what I mean? So, a lot of the misconceptions that people have, not just about female funeral directors, but a lot of people have a very negative impression of the industry in general.
So I won’t say we’re as bad as car salesmen used car salesman use car salesman. But a lot of people, you know, they come, you know, they’re sitting across the desk from the funeral director for the first time. If they’ve not had that kind of experience, they just kind of know what they know from TV or from, you know, what happened with Aunt Gladys’s service or you know, they hear something and so they come and they’re sitting down across from me and they have, a lot of people are very guarded because they [00:07:00] have this idea that my job is to separate them from their money, you know, to try to get them to prove how much they love their mom by spending more on a casket, that kind of thing.
So those fears from the general public are from generations of. You know, same old, same old kind of treatment. And so I think women coming into the industry, hopefully is kind of helping the industry itself to express value to consumers, you know, so that we, we can really show them that it’s not just, you know, sell you our, you know, whatever kind of, whatever they’re trying to sell you.
It’s not about that. It’s about family care, personal care to their families. So hopefully it’s redefining the value that we offer. Mm-hmm.
De’Vannon: Nothing like some good value, honey. Now, one this, this website also is saying that funeral directors are most in demand in Tucson, Arizona. [00:08:00] And now if that, I don’t doubt them, but I wonder why.
And I used to live in Tucson when I was stationed in the Air Force. I wonder, have you heard of any kind of like, demand in a certain city or state more than another? Or, or do you have any idea why? In Tucson that you’d,
Adrienne: think it probably correlates to a higher retirement age population. So if Tucson, Arizona is a popular area for folks to retire to when they’re tired of the cold, you know, Northeast Winters that they would go to Miami or Tucson, you know what I mean?
That you’d have a higher demand for funeral services in general. That
De’Vannon: makes sense. That’s my best guess. That, that makes perfect sense. You’re so smart. I love that. We called it, we called them snow bunnies when I was Station. Yes.
Adrienne: There. I’ve been called a snow bunny before.
De’Vannon: Oh, we’re not talking about role playing honey.
Or, or, or, or getting our Wolf of Wall Street on too. [00:09:00] If you haven’t seen the movie, then you’ll know what I mean with, with the snow button references there. Yeah, so there’s like, whenever starts to turn cold in Arizona, there’s this large migration of RVs and shit that just swarm down into Tucson or wherever, whenever starts get cold in general.
Cause some people gets to fuck away from the, the ice and they come down somewhere like that. That’s not, that’s, that’s not gonna be iced out. And I, I’m sitting here thinking like, I wonder if it’s like a breaking bad reference. It’s like people getting shot up or whatever. But what she said made more sense.
Adrienne: Well, no, but that, that could be a part of it too. I mean, it could be sad to say, you know, with substance use issues sometime play, play into it. So if you have, you know, endemic issues in, in a, you know, larger metropolitan area, that might sadly, you know, bring up the death rate. So you mentioned
De’Vannon: Like school, what kind of training?
Is [00:10:00] required. And then tell then tell us, well, before we get into the training, tell us exactly what you do and tell, explain to us the difference between a funeral director, mortician and an undertaker of what your Okay. Title.
Adrienne: So some of some of those titles are a distinction without a difference kind of things.
So, and some of ’em are just kind of more old fashioned. So like the old guard would more often than not identify themselves as a mortician or an undertaker. Nowadays more people say funeral director, it’s a little imprecise because and it does vary state by state. But, so that could mean that they are just front of the house, so to speak, that their only job is to sit and meet with families, to plan services, to make funeral arrangements and or to take out those services, you know, go out to church and stuff.
But in that, it could also, so most of the time I would introduce myself as a funeral director. Now I am also an embalmer, so I do front of the house and back of the house. Some states [00:11:00] it’s some states it’s one license to do both duties. In other states, you can get a funeral directing only license or an embalmers only license.
That’s a little less frequent. And then, and also, you know, there are some states that are either completely unregulated, like Colorado or states like Florida that have introduced something that’s kind of like, I, I don’t wanna, no offense anybody, but like funeral director light. Like it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s an easier to obtain license that allows them to do most of the jobs of the, the front of the house of funeral directors under the guidance of a full fledged, fully licensed funeral director.
So, but it’s, it’s, those are the three basic duties, the making arrangements, carrying out services, and then, you know, embalming back of the house. Whatever kind of prep work and care for the actual, the, the physical care of the decedent [00:12:00] that we, we
De’Vannon: take care of. So when you go to school for one, do you go to school for all of them and they just kind of train you on everything or,
Adrienne: and then, yeah.
Most of the time, I’d say like the most, the, the, the typical route is going to be bef there’s before Covid and after Covid. So I would say after Covid I mean, online schooling was existed before Covid certainly, but it seems like that seems to be primarily, you know, how most people since Covid go to funeral school?
So I, I went well before Covid and so I physically went to school. So I, I went to I physically showed up in class every day, and it’s a two year program. So most of those programs are something like, they’ll have like a base requirement. Like you, you’ll have to have had. Let’s say 60 hours of something, just something just going to college, you know, math, whatever.
And then after you have a requisite number of hours you can apply to be in the program. And then typically it’s a two year program. It’s an associate’s degree in most places. There are some [00:13:00]places and a couple of states that actually require bachelor’s degree. But majority of time it’s it’s a two year associate’s degree program.
Some of the programs are a little more regimented. Some of them are more flexible. And by that I mean like there are some programs where you take class 1, 2, 3, 4, and then the next semester you take 5, 6, 7, 8, versus some other programs that are a little more self-selecting for the students, but that tend to take longer.
So it might take four years to graduate, for instance. So but it’s pretty, I, I always joked I should have tried out for Jeopardy after I finished funeral school because you study a little bit of everything. So, I mean, there’s, there’s, you know, history, religion, law, accounting, computers. English, chemistry, pathology all, all kinds of stuff.
It really runs the gamut. So it’s pretty challenging and difficult. And then once you, you know, typically you pass, you [00:14:00] graduate from your program and then you have permission to sit for the national exam, the national board exam, there’s two parts. Funeral directing and embalming, or well, and arts and sciences.
And then you are licensed by the state and then you do whatever you’re doing. Now there’s also mixed in there an apprenticeship. So you have your schooling and then you have your actual work experience. And the two are surprisingly different. So what you’re learning in school is to pass the national board exam, and it’s very frequently it’s a different, at the very least, it’s a different kind of information than when you’re actually practicing funeral directing and involvement.
Do you see what I mean? Like what, what your day-to-day skillset looks a little bit different in the reality of it versus the school part of it. I’m sure that that’s, you know, that that happens in other professions too, I’m sure.
De’Vannon: Right? The, but why did you choose this career path? Did you, did you feel like it was a calling?
Do you feel like it [00:15:00] was like a spiritual thing? Like of all the things you could have been in all the nine realms? Why, why this,
Adrienne: that is a great question and I I came into it relatively late, so I had you know, I’ve gotten my bachelor’s 10 years before I decided to go to funeral school. And for a long time, I guess in my personal case, it was important to me that I find meeting in what I do, like, I, I wanted to make sure that I, you know, I come from a long line of some, some good people that you know, you know, Social workers and psych psychiatric nurses and a, their whole careers were spent caring for and dedicated to people.
And so I kind of wanted to do something that felt like it had that kind of impact. But, you know, I got a degree in philosophy and religion, so I ran a college bookstore for 10 years like you do, you know? So I, I, I guess I had a couple of life experiences. I had a couple of friends that either died or had a, a close, you know, close family member die.
And [00:16:00] through those interactions and those events, I think that kind of planted a seed. And when I decided against law school, it kind of occurred to me personally that I, you know, I would’ve been a good lawyer, wedding planner, the. Pastor, nurse Carpenter, like all of the different component skills that you kind of smoosh together to make a good funeral director.
But once, once that occurred to me, and I was into my thirties, I was well into my thirties, it was like, duh. You know, and then I like ran the thought past a couple of people who know me, who know me best, and they were like, oh yeah, that absolutely makes sense. And then from there on out, it was, that was it.
And I, I’ve been doing it full, full course ever since. And it’s, and you’re right, to me, it is a, it is a vocation, it is a calling. It’s not something that you just do like, instead of, you know, getting your insurance license. Do you know what I mean? You don’t just capriciously happen upon it. I don’t think, I, I think the best funeral directors would be hard pressed to find happiness in any [00:17:00] other line of work, if that makes
It makes perfect damn sense. But have you ever, have you ever thought about getting out of this career field since you’ve, oh, you
Adrienne: always kind of have to have, I don’t wanna say an exit strategy. But it is a, it is a quickly changing field, and so I’m a very opinionated, strident kind of person. And so far I have been able to afford my integrity throughout my career.
But, you know, you have to be able to you know, you gotta keep working and you have to, you know, if, if there ever comes a time when you’re not gonna be able to find an environment that you’re comfortable working in, then you have to have an exit strategy. And it’s also incredibly physically demanding.
It’s almost every embalmer I know has a bad back and a lot of ’em have cancer. So it just kind of comes with the territory. It’s, it’s, you know, it, it’s constant exposure, not constant, but I mean, it’s, it’s plentiful exposure to some pretty nasty chemicals. And while there are [00:18:00] certain safeguards that we take, there’s a certain amount of risk, you know that we, that we take
Well, that brings me to my next question I was gonna ask you about like pathogens and physical safety and things like that. I was thinking in terms of like coming in contact with blood or whatever that is, you know, whatever’s in the body, but where the fuck are people getting cancer from? And it’s, I mean, you say it’s so casually as though, oh well another person.
Not like you don’t care, but like, it happens so damn much. What, but how, how, how can, how can cancer be that prevalent in your career field and people aren’t getting sued or something? Do you have to sign like waivers or some shit or what?
Adrienne: No, but it’s, I guess it’s just something that’s understood specifically when we go through funeral school and we take chemistry classes and we know about, you know, we know about the dangers of formaldehyde.
So there are chemicals that we use in this country that other countries don’t allow cause of that, you know, [00:19:00] kind of from the protecting the practitioner kind of point of view, we don’t really have those kind of. Protections. You know, I think and, and I mean, I, and honestly, I don’t know many people in the industry that are like fighting for those protections necessarily either.
So it’s just kind of an accepted risk that we take, I guess.
De’Vannon: Ne it works for y’all. Let it work. It works for me too.
Adrienne: You gotta die somehow, you know what I mean? So the fact that that we have a little bit more exposure, you know, it’s, I think it’s that sometimes we’re called the, the last first responders, but I think a lot of first responders have that.
There’s just a certain amount of risk that you have, you know, er nurses and you know, cops, firemen, you know, it’s, it’s service. We’re doing service. I’m certainly, I don’t wanna compare us to, to the, the real first responders, as it were, but it, it’s a similar kind of, there is risk that is inherent to the job, [00:20:00] so we do what we can, but it’s always gonna be there.
De’Vannon: Everyone has their role to play firefighters or whatever, but having to do with somebody’s last rights is a, is a high honor as old as time. It is, it’s sacred.
Adrienne: It’s it’s sacred. And that’s kind of the joke I make is that you know, when most people talk about the world’s oldest profession, hey, let’s talk about something else.
But in truth you know, funeral, you know, funeral, the, the job of caring for the dead has been around since time. Im memorium. So, so yeah, it is, it is. It’s, it’s, it’s sacred. It really is. So it’s, sometimes it’s a, it’s a lot of day-to-day stuff too. You know, it’s a lot of bureaucracy and logistics and that kind of stuff.
But when you really get down to the core of it, when we’re interacting with families, when we’re there, we’re the first people that, you know, we’re the first call. It, it is, it’s a high honor. [00:21:00]
De’Vannon: For the schooling, do you have to do continuing education courses every year?
Adrienne: Yes. Most states. So there, like I said, Colorado for instance, there’s not a license that’s required to practice in Colorado.
So I think in that case, there’s not and certainly the rules are different in some states it’s, you know, 24 hours in a year, 12 hours, and yada, yada, yada. But yes, there is absolutely continuing education and hopefully, you know, practitioners are excited about that in the sense that just the developments in science and, and the, the way that the chemicals that we use are evolving and there’s always something more to learn.
De’Vannon: Mm-hmm. How many funerals do you do a day, or what’s the most you’ve done in a day? That’s hard to
Adrienne: answer because, so a funeral versus. Making funeral arrangements. So there are, I would say nowadays in most places, cremations, specifically direct cremations. So that’s a, that’s a cremation with no associated rights or [00:22:00] services.
So it’s, it’s for the most part, a matter of paperwork so that a body may be cremated and then you return the herb to the family and that’s it. So I think for the highest volume firm I was at, I think I was handling like 12 to 14 cases a week. Now, of those only maybe two or three would actually be, and would involve a church or like going somewhere or doing something or viewing the body or doing any of the associated rights.
So and it’s, it’s different rates in different communities. So in Louisiana where I first got my license, there’s a lot of Catholic. And Catholics have a lot of rights and rituals that are associated with, with death and with burials. So we had a lot of services there. So, but I’ve also worked in more kind of secular communities.
I worked around, you know, in, in New Orleans when Covid hit, so there were a lot of services where there were no services. It was just, [00:23:00] it was just here for the deceased and that
De’Vannon: was it. Right. And so she mentioned Louisiana. She used to live down here. She’s up in Maine now. I am eating up on my damn lobster.
Adrienne: That’s a big ass crawfish up here, huh?
De’Vannon: I like your style. I’m picking up what you’re putting down baby. So so how many, what’s the most amount of bodies you’ve embalmed in a day? I’m just trying to get a feel for like, in a
Adrienne: day. Mm. Three, maybe four, but I’m not I’m, I’m a very good embalmer, but I don’t consider the speed with which I embalm a body as a, as an indicator of how good I am at embalming.
So there are some embalmers that are like, I can embalming 45 minutes or something like that. So, but to me that the timing of it doesn’t reflect the quality of the embalming. So for the most part, you know, it takes, I’d say an hour [00:24:00] and a half, two hours. They could be a lot longer, they could be a lot more complicated.
That it every, literally, everybody is unique. And so certain things you wanna, a one pointer would be the, the, the thing that the embalmer most efficiently is gonna go for. And that’s where we only have one point of entry into the arterial system. But sometimes, you know, shit happens and you, you have to raise other sites.
And so every time you have to raise a different site, that adds on time.
De’Vannon: do you remember the first body you ever mbed?
Adrienne: I remember the first autopsy body that I encountered. No, I do actually, no, I do remember the, well, not the first body that I embalmed. I remember the first time that I saw an embalming.
Okay. And it was at one school that had, essentially, they had the contract that they would care for all of the indigent populations. So if a [00:25:00] homeless person passed away, they would kind of cycle through the funeral school and then go be cremated. And so the very first embalming I saw was a little off-put to me because it was kind of like, you know, the teacher said Go and then you’d have like five students just like go at it and it.
It felt very un sacred, I guess. And so I was like I don’t, I don’t know if I can do this, you guys. So, but then I went back and then I, the next embalming I saw was kind of a, a demonstration. So it was someone who was coming to, to show a specific skill. So it was one embalmer working on the body, and he was much more respectful.
And I, and that, that kind of helped me feel settled a little bit, you know? So but yeah, so I do, I do remember that, and it is quite an adjustment as is, like I mentioned, the autopsy. The first time I saw, I walked in and saw an autopsy body, I would said to my classmate, if I pass out, I’m [00:26:00] not even embarrassed because this is horrifying.
It’s, it’s really existentially distressing, you know, to see So, but power through it. And that’s that’s, I think the thing that helps people kind of get over that bump is, like I mentioned, kind of the craftsmanship of it. That we put people back together and so they, they, they leave look at a hell of a lot better than they did when they came in.
So that’s, that’s the goal. And so that’s part of, I think how, how we could deal with what we deal
De’Vannon: with. So with an autopsy, are you like peeling the skin back and digging in there versus with embalming, you’re like using more like tools to put stuff in?
Adrienne: Yeah, so for an on autopsy body, personally, I try to be as minimally intrusive as possible.
So yeah, so we would try, if I can, if I can raise one area and that is sufficient to accomplish what I need to accomplish with arterial embalming. Great. With autopsies, you don’t [00:27:00] have a choice. It’s already, it’s already been decided for you that it’s, it’s gonna be a different process. So but yes, it’s, it’s very, they’re, they’re opened and then you do what you’re doing with the arterial system and you treat everything and then close ’em back up.
But. Yeah, it’s a lot.
De’Vannon: Talk to me about the paranormal activity. Cause so a person, you know, when they die, when their spirit depart, like is severed from the body, but when they’re in your hands, they have not officially been laid to rest yet. And so they’re kind of like in a, a waiting period, like their soul is at this time.
So, yeah. Have you ever seen a spirit? Has anyone spoken to you?
Adrienne: Yeah. So not every funeral director would they not, they don’t all [00:28:00] believe in paranormal activity, so I’ve seen some shit though. So yeah, no, I’ve seen a, I’ve seen a couple of my favorite one, I was standing in the prep room. I know I was ironing a flag or something, I don’t know.
And I look over and there was a corkboard on the wall. And two pieces of paper, not on one, not on one tack, on two separate tacks, two pieces of paper out of nowhere, flew vertically and then fell down. And so it wasn’t like a loose tack and then gingerly, you know, lifted down to the floor. No, this, well, I flew across the room and all I could do is say hello.
I acknowledge that something is here and I hope that you’re doing okay, and I’m just gonna do what I’m doing, and that’s great. So but I, yeah, no I, I’ve, most of the places that I’ve worked, most of the people acknowledge at least a [00:29:00] little bit of funny business, you know at the first place, the place where I I, I did my apprenticeship, had a name, I forgot what they named.
It was like Bessie or something, but like, it was so frequent that, that certain things would happen to. Clocks in the room and this and that and that they named her. So, or him, I don’t know. I didn’t ask the gender, but and I have actually, I’ve heard things before, which is a little off-putting. So, but you know, a lot of these funeral homes, they’re very, very old buildings.
So, and if they’ve been funeral homes for that long, then yeah, it’s, it’s not really
De’Vannon: surprising. When you say you heard things, is it like a, a rattling noise, an auditory voice,
Adrienne: or, I’ve heard auditory voices. I’ve heard my name when I was verifiably the only person on the floor or in the building to the extent that I [00:30:00] got up from what I was doing and kind of walked around like, hello, who’s there?
You know what I mean? So that’s happened a couple of times. So, but not every place, surprisingly. So the place that I’m currently working out of I haven’t really, I haven’t really encountered anything. And even though I probably work with more of the, more, more of the kind of spooky oriented people in the field at my current location, it’s not, no one’s ever mentioned anything at this particular place.
So that’s, it’s not, it’s not just the funeral homes. I think it has, there’s, there’s more to it than that, at least. What am I to say? I
De’Vannon: would say some, I would say such, you know, funeral homes and places that are like a congregation of the dead would prove to be some sort of a nexus point, you know? Yeah, no,
Adrienne: and it’s, different cultures have different ideas of it too.
So in I just did a Cambodian Buddhist [00:31:00] funeral and that is a part of it. So there’s a big part of it is the, the monks. Come and they do this beautiful chanting, and the idea is that they’re chanting instructions at the spirit of the deceased to kind of talk them through what their next steps are.
Like hang a left at the, at the star, you know what I mean? Or whatever it is. So, but they’re, they’re actually trying to help guide spirits that may may not know how to proceed forward. So, but, and, and I al I also have heard of funeral homes as kind of being a transition point. So I’ve heard a couple of, of good ghost stories wherein they invited whatever entity was bothering them at their own home.
And they went and they were just like, come on buddy. And they went to a funeral home and kind of like an elevator to the sky kind of a thing. Like it’s a, it’s a place of transition, but also though it’s the place of the place where the death actually happens, [00:32:00] and then the place where the bodies ultimately go.
So, you know, graveyards and, and that kind of thing.
De’Vannon: And I would imagine the, the newly dead or practicing becoming dead and, you know, and getting used to those new abilities and everything like that. And you’re their perfect little Guinea pig. I call out your name too. If I’m, if I, if you’re like working on my body, need no one else to talk to you, Adrian’s here.
Adrienne: and that’s, it’s, you know, and there are some people that kind of lean into that. And so I’ve known people that go so far as to try to find out the deceased person’s musical tastes. And so rather than playing what I wanna hear when I have them in the prep room, or if I’m driving them to the cemetery, that you’d play a little Johnny Cash or whatever it is that they were into, to, you know, let ’em, let ’em feel a little at home at least for their, their last little time.
De’Vannon: Okay, now play me some Beyonce or [00:33:00] Madonna. Girl. Go ahead. On and tw while you are working on me. So do you, do you ever have any dreams that are related to your job or anything
Adrienne: like that? Not like I used to when I was a waitress. I’ve had waitressing dreams where I’m, you know, pour coffee in the middle of the night or anything like that.
So, no, actually, I guess thankfully, no, not too much. I’m pretty good at kind of shaking it off. Yeah, having and uh, separating.
De’Vannon: Separating it com. Compartmentalizing
Adrienne: com compart, I’m so great at it, you know what I mean? I had a difficult childhood, so it’s one of my life skills.
De’Vannon: I’ve worked in the service industry and I, I, and I still do I I would agree.
Waiting tables is way more horrific probably than you. It is the dead body. At least the bitch can’t talk back like the motherfucker Karens and shit.
Adrienne: Oh, you’d be surprised. We get some, Karens, we get some, and rightfully so, you know what I mean? Like, and I don’t, not to poke fun at families, but there are [00:34:00] families that behave.
They, you know, I’d say misbehave not because of grief, but because of an inflated sense of entitlement. So I, we get those two, but yeah, not, not as traumatizing, I don’t think is in the restaurant world, to my recollection.
De’Vannon: What the fuck could Karen come into her funeral home? But like, what, what could she demand that Is she, is she asking for free shit?
She reduced to shit what the
Adrienne: person Sometimes, sometimes it is. I want to come. So, you know, cause if you Google a funeral home, they’re gonna say 24 hours. And what that means is that if a death occurs at three o’clock in the morning, we will dutifully respond to you and bring your loved one into our care regardless of the hour.
That does not mean that you can follow, you know, the van back to the funeral home to make arrangements at three o’clock in the morning. So there are people that, that try to, you know, just show up whenever, or demand to make [00:35:00] arrangements outside of our normal operating hours. Or they’ll, d i we, I had recently had a family that was gobsmack that a Catholic priest wouldn’t have a, a funeral mass on a Sunday.
They don’t do that. Okay. They don’t do that for archbishops. They don’t, that’s not that, that’s just not a normal practice. And just, you know, the, oh, my, my word. How could you not? You know what I mean? So, and, or scheduling services before ever talking to the funeral home and then being surprised that, you know, Oh, I scheduled this mask to happen two days from now.
What do you mean you can’t, what do you mean you have three other services that day or, you know, so that, that kind of stuff. And so partially more often than not, it’s people not knowing they haven’t made arrangements before. So they don’t know. They think, you know, maybe they just have a wrong idea, but sometimes it is just straight up entitlement, so.
De’Vannon: Hmm. So do you see like a psychiatrist or do you, are you kind of meditating? Do you do yoga? How do you, how do you keep yourself mentally and emotionally in check? [00:36:00]
Adrienne: I am very purposeful about my time away from work, so there is a tendency I’m tempted to say, especially with the ladies. I’ve seen it, I think a, a little more frequently with my female colleagues than with my male of being, I don’t know, I don’t wanna say overinvested, but like, Unable to check out on days off, like micro not micromanaging or being involved in things instead of just trusting and passing it off to your colleagues on your off days.
Cuz that’s, you know, you can try as we might, we try to minimize any kind of duties, you know what I mean? If, if a if a brand new family comes in and needs services on my day 10, I’m most likely not gonna be the director that sits with him to make arrangements because I am almost assuredly going to be out, you know, a as those arrangements need to be made.
So some funeral directors have trouble setting those boundaries between being at work and being available. [00:37:00] You know, so I’m pretty good about that. Setting boundaries. So on my off times, I’m off for the most part. So that’s a big part of it. I am, I have a very supportive partner. Who, so I have some mutual accountability in my household, which helps.
So if I have had a particularly nasty day and I wasn’t able to kind of shake it off on my way home, you know, on my commute or something like that, that I have I, I have, you know, my husband that can kind of since that and give me an opportunity to talk about something if I need to, if I’m struggling with some, you know, some, and it’s, I think as a surprise to you, it has less to do with any kind of the grossness of my job, more so than it does about the emo emotional turmoil that, that we deal with.
You know, it’s hard. I, I’m very empathetic and so it’s difficult to [00:38:00] see people suffer and then have to just, you know I dunno, it, it’s hard to see people suffer and not have a way to help them. And so in, in one sense of it, I think it’s easier for me because instead of just seeing suffering and just being like, oh, I wish I knew what I could do, I actually do know what to do in some circumstances.
And so it’s not just passively seeing suffering happen. I see the same suffering that everyone else does, but I can actually step up and I can help out and I can hopefully bring a little bit of peace to some people, and that is rewarding in and of itself. So I think that kind of feeds pour into my cup, as it were.
That’s a, a metaphor we hear a lot is you can’t pour from an empty cup. So I, I try to focus on ways to pour back into my cup and so thank you notes. I, if I, if I’m really down or if I’m really exhausted, I have my thank you notes for [00:39:00] my families and that means the world to me and that is just a reminder of why, you know, why I’m doing what I do.
And that helps too. So and then also mood altering substances. So, and Bravo personally helps me a lot. So,
De’Vannon: well, this is the sex, drugs and Jesus podcast. So put on the drugs right now, drugs, man. And everything’s a fucking drug. Fucking coffee. The fucking drug. Yeah. So I, I heard you and you said you can’t pour from an empty cup.
I’ve heard it said before in another way where it says you can’t give away what you don’t have. Yeah. And so whatever is, you can’t, if you nothing in the cup, you can’t pour a shit out, but you also can’t create things that are not there. So, like you said, you’re empathetic, but you have em empathy to give.
So that’s very, very, very highly high, high vibrational of you. I heard you say that you had a [00:40:00] traumatic childhood. What, what happened? Well,
Adrienne: not traumatic, but, you know, my parents were divorced. My dad wasn’t around a whole lot. You know, we were, you know, mom writing hot check for groceries, stuff like that.
So, And I’ve, I’ve also looked like a 34 year old woman since I was about eight. So I was like five 11 I think by the time I was in the fourth grade. So just, just a weird, awkward a childhood lacking of privilege, I’ll put it that way. So not too mad. I know there’s a lot of people who’ve had it worse, so
De’Vannon: we’ve come to a point in this fucked up ass country where the things that you just said, Or just as common as rain.
Yeah, absolutely. But that shit’s fucked up. It’s not supposed to be that way. Yeah. That, that’s still quite dramatic. We’re this, this, this country has got so used to trauma, but I guess that’s true. You know, from shootings in schools and every, wherever, every fucking day or a couple times a day to [00:41:00] this, this is like, oh, well dude, this is what we do.
We get divorced and we shoot people. How are you? Right, right. Yeah. Whatever. I’m getting me a fucking Mexico citizenship. Yeah.
Adrienne: I, I, yeah. Well, take me with you. I don’t know where we’re going, but it sounds great.
De’Vannon: So what about your to, to the gaze, obviously to the gaze. I really, really like the way the cartel runs their state.
Yeah. Down there there’s nothing but peace in the streets. And people just don’t, there’s you, don’t you? There’s no violence, there’s no fentanyl in the damn narcotics that you don’t have that foolishness in Mexico. Why the fuck can the cartel run a country better than politicians?
Adrienne: That’s a really good question.
That’s a really good
De’Vannon: question. Because they don’t lie. I mean, they don’t have an agenda. If you fuck up, you like die or you just gonna be dealt with. And it’s just, it is what it is. It is what it’s exactly. [00:42:00]And so that’s my love going out to all my helico people down there. Have you ever seen anybody in your profession who just could not deal?
I’m talking about somebody who had made it through school and was already. In the profession, and then something happened and they were just like, I can’t even,
Adrienne: yeah. And I’ve seen people that were almost a good fit, but then in some very important ways discovered that they were not. So I think I think the pandemic was an incredibly difficult time for this pro profession.
And I think that if you made it through that, then you probably are made of, of, of the tough stuff and, and you’re gonna make it through throughout your career. But yeah, it’s high pressure. It is incredibly it’s incredibly difficult and a lot of times it’s thankless and a lot of times it’s back to back to back to back.
And, and [00:43:00] that can be difficult if you don’t kind of so you know, at a lot of firms, when you have a properly functioning team, you can kind of support one another. So for instance, if a funeral director has a death in the family, A lot of times it’s a little hard to deal with other people’s families when you’re actively dealing with your own grief.
You know? So in those kind of cases, a director might step back from the front of the house stuff and just do prep room kind of stuff. So, or I’m, I’m particularly skilled with more tragic kind of cases, or maybe not skilled, but I’m, I’m more willing to, you know, put me in there, coach for a lot, a lot of the more difficult cases that some, some folks shy away from.
But I can’t do those kind of cases back to back to back, so I might have to No, continue. I, I saw your quizzical eyebrows and so I’m, I’m waiting for your, for your
De’Vannon: question. Um, What, can you give me an example of what a difficult case would [00:44:00] be versus a non difficult case?
Adrienne: Well, you know, we’re all gonna die and I think when you know, when grandma dies after three months of hospice care and everybody got to fly in and.
See her and hold her hand. And you know, you have that time to at least intellectually prepare for a death or if it’s a death, that’s kind of an in order death. Those, I don’t wanna say they’re easy. I mean, you, the person who’s burying their mom, it’s gonna be difficult for them regardless. But those kind of deaths that are expected and kind of feel more natural versus you know a two year old who was shot or a 13 year old who hung himself or a murder, suicide or just the tragic kind of circumstances because the care that the families need or, or, or when there’s a death in kids are there.
So not, not physically present with the death, but I mean, like when someone, when a child loses a parent, something like [00:45:00] that, or a child loses a sibling, those kind of cases are. Just a lot more complex in what the families need from the funeral director. And so there’s just more coming out of the cup as it were, you know than with some, some deaths that are natural.
I don’t know if natural is the right word, but I think you get my meaning.
De’Vannon: Right. What’s your what’s your most gut wrenching memory? Like something that when you think about it, it just
Adrienne: I had a couple of of, of tough cases. I had one, the last place I was working in Louisiana was during Covid. And one lady, God bless her, she lost six family members inside of six months. They weren’t all covid but. Yeah, she, she basically lost everyone that she loved. And so like the, the, like the, the [00:46:00] fifth or sixth time when I answered the phone, hi Peter, this is Adrian.
And I heard her voice. I literally was like, are you hitting me? I never wanted to talk to you again. And it made her just have a belly laugh. So I’m glad that you know, that I was the one to help her through that. But that was difficult. I mean, I had one where, ah, a kid killed himself. Poor dumb kid, you know?
And I had to pooch his Boy Scout truth were the Paul bearers. And so trying to talk that Boy Scout, you know, these kids through what is certainly a foundational moment in their lives, you know, it’s the first time they’ve lost anyone and it’s a peer. And they’re at this like hugely well attended funeral service and all eyes on, and they, and it’s the first time they’re having to step into that role.
And so having to give them kind of the. Giving them the pep talk and, and you know, the eyebrow nods and the getting ’em through it. That part of that, that, that one [00:47:00] stuck with me. That was a, that was a difficult one. So there’s a lot. I mean, it’s really, I think part of the beauty of this job, as draining as it can be, is I get to see some of the most beautiful human moments that are, you know, I had one time I we were about to put the urn into the niche, into the, you know, the wall of the mausoleum and I don’t know, I think he was like eight and it was his grandfather, but they were very, very close and it was a very tough loss for him and Right.
You know, right at the end, this little kid, you know, I’m like, you know, ladies and gentlemen, this is concludes our services and blah, blah, blah. And this kid just gets up and he goes and he lays on the table and he hugs the irm. You know, and it was just this incredibly beautiful, poignant display, you know?
[00:48:00] And as hard as that was to kind of navigate, I what an honor it is to just see that and, and to be able to help that kid process that,
De’Vannon: thank God for the silver lining in these dark ass rain clouds. Now you’ve mentioned the pandemic a couple of times, and you know, when we were in the thick of it all over tv, you know, you saw like the the nurses, doctors, frontline workers, morticians or caregivers as well.
So was there a lot of burnout? And is, is there anything you’d like the world, the world to know about your a how the covid effected y’all since it really didn’t get a lot of media coverage? Well,
Adrienne: it didn’t, and I guess thanks for noticing that it didn’t, so, because it, it did mean, not necessarily personally, but I’ve got some colleagues that were working in New York City at the height of the game.
Oh lord gee. Yeah, I mean, and so when New York had, its like a heroes parade kind of [00:49:00] a thing, initially funeral directors were not included. And yeah, that was felt, that was felt by people, you know, because, you know just little old me in New Orleans, not New York, so we didn’t have those kind of numbers.
It was a hotspot city. It was bad. Wasn’t that bad. But yeah, I mean, I know how many hours I was working a day and how many days, days on end that I quarantined myself from my family because I didn’t want to bring home those germs. And so, you know, I was spending spending, you know, a week at a time.
Away from them. So it’s difficult not just because of the long hours and the hard work, but being separated from the emotional support of our families, you know, to keep them safe. That’s incredibly difficult. And then to have everyone from, rightfully so, but everyone from, you know, the, the worker who shows up at Walgreens [00:50:00] and nurses and Uber drivers, rightfully so thanked and appreciated for showing up and for getting out there and for exposing themselves to risk so that they could serve their community in whatever the way that they do.
But then not to have, not to have funeral directors included, kind of smarted a bit. So, but they did, I know at least with the, the first big one, the New York Heroes Parade or whatever, they did add funeral directors, but it was an afterthought, you know? But, but, and honestly, I think it’s just kind of depressing.
I think I, I don’t think it was like an intentional slight like, ah, Stupid morticians. Nobody cares about this. It wasn’t that, but it was, you know, how do we keep this hero’s parade upbeat and like high five nurses, good job doctors, and great job, bringers of the Dead. You know what I mean? Like, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s to acknowledge a mortician is to acknowledge death.
And I think, you know, at certain points it just, it gets a little sticky. [00:51:00] But yeah.
De’Vannon: Well, I, I, I love morticians and from my ww f Fandom Wrestling Days, you know the Pa Paul? Oh yeah. The Undertaker, the under the Paul Burrows, one of my fa everyone’s fucking favorite character. He’s coming there with that be toning his theme music and shit.
That bitch was boss, so Yeah. I, I fucks with y’all. I fucks with it.
Adrienne: We’re fun at parties. I’ll tell you what. So that’s, that was my joke is you know, I’m my, I have a degree in religion. I was very politically active back in, back in my day, and I’m a mortician, so, you know, I’m fun at dinner parties.
Right. So I, I bring all the good hot topics.
De’Vannon: What, what kind of reactions do you get from people when, when you tell them what you do? Dinner parties or wherever?
Adrienne: I’ve gotten some, I’ve gotten, so I lived, I was in Miami when I first started funeral school. I lived in Miami. And I was the, one of the two little [00:52:00] moments of my life where I was kind of a stay-at-home mom.
So my daughter was started school in Miami. It’s her first time at this school. And so I was doing like, you know, p t a kind of crap and selling pencils and doing whatever. And I had this like p t a buddy lady I don’t remember her name or anything, but anytime we had a little activity, she was my buddy and we’d, you know, hang out.
And then in talking, when I said that I was gonna start funeral school, She never made eye contact with me again. So for some people there’s a really serious kind of taboo about it and people like literally avert their eyes sometimes. So that’s kind of interesting. But for the most part people are just, I, I think either shocked because you don’t meet many morticians and or shocked because I’m a lady mortician.
And so I think it’s, that’s surprising to them too. And so a lot of times they kind of assume that I’m just, just a funeral director, [00:53:00] not to minimize people that are solely funeral directors, but they assume that I’m just a funeral director and that of course, I’m not an embalmer. No. You know, so that’s interesting seeing people’s reaction in that way, but for the most part, people are just curious.
And I have gotten some very interesting questions from people, you know.
De’Vannon: Y’all running from the mortician or averting your eyes, like what Adrian is saying is not gonna help you to cheat death.
Adrienne: It’s true. It’s like they think I’m jinxing them. Yeah. So
De’Vannon: We better get a grip on ourselves and get, and get with the program.
You know, like, like when King David from the, from the, from the Bible got ready to die, he said, you know, I go the way of all the earth. Mm-hmm. You know, if you wanna believe you’re coming back as a butterfly or a stingray or whatever, okay, that’s on you. But either way, you gotta die before you can be reincarnated if that’s what you believe is going to happen.
So you cannot run from death. And the, the thing [00:54:00] that intrigues me the most, or intrigues me or extends out to me the most about death is something that my my spiritual mother evangelist Nelson would tell me when she was a alive. And, you know, she was like, it is no old people don’t die as much as young people.
You know? And I thought about it, I was like, I’ve been to a lot of funerals in my life, but maybe five of those were old people. Most of them have been people like in between like 20 and 40. Wow. You know, so, so no, we, we, we, we, we won’t be running from death and don’t be, don’t be stupid and think just because you’re young that you’re guaranteed to live to get old.
So get a grip on it. Get your spiritual life in order, because eventually you will be laying down on a table in front of Adrian someone. Well, yeah,
Adrienne: and it’s, and it’s, I, some, I, I don’t know. I guess I have my personal belief [00:55:00]system. I e everything’s gonna be okay. It’s either nothing or. Everything’s fine.
You know what I mean? I, I believe in a benevolence underneath underlying the universe. And so I’m not afraid of whatever’s in the next room, so to speak. You know what I mean? But there are people that are just, that are deeply, deeply fearful of it. And it’s sad. It just, and, and so you’re right. So the kind of reaction is not to kind of process and reflect on that, but rather to completely avoid it.
And, but that’s not how this works, you know? Avoiding it, pretending it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t help.
De’Vannon: Yeah. You don’t want everything about how you live in this life affects your afterlife. The, the dead people I know, they still speak to me like in dreams and stuff like that. That’s why I don’t believe in reincarnation, because they are still spirits.
So they couldn’t be a giraffe and still hear in spirit talking to me. And so [00:56:00] you don’t wanna part this plane of existence like. Like in any kind of like spliced way. Like you don’t wanna like be feeling like you’re being ripped. You need to be, you need to be at a point where you’re ready to let it go because you don’t want Absolutely.
You don’t wanna wrecked afterlife one thing that taught me this when I was in middle sch in high school now as a teenager, and I woke up dying in the middle of the night. I had like a strange heart rhythm. You know, it happens in teens sometimes. Yeah. It just does. And I woke up and I couldn’t breathe.
Like, I couldn’t catch my breath. I’m not asthmatic it, I’ve never have been. It wasn’t that, it wasn’t an episode, it was like, and as this was happening in this dream state or whatever, I was in, it’s like I was looking down this tunnel at the reception hall at the church that I was attending, but it was like, it was the, the person that I saw was someone who was dead already, and I [00:57:00] didn’t recognize the other people.
So it was almost like it was a flipped. A version of a reality and it almost looked like the dead people were still doing the same stuff that they used to do when they were alive. And as my breath was escaping me, it’s like I saw them and I remember just really, really, really wanting more time. Cause I was like, somewhere between 15 and 16, you know, I was like, you know, I really wanted more time and I just could not breathe.
I couldn’t force myself to breathe. The air was just leaving and none was coming back in. And I just like passed out or whatever. And then I woke up, you know, the Lord wasn’t ready for me to die. But what I remembered is that I wasn’t ready to go. And I hated that sense of not being prepared.
Adrienne: Well, no, and that’s back in the old days, people used to carry like little do dads and jewelry pieces that would say, memento mori, remember you must die.
You know, it’s, it’s the fact that we know that this is a [00:58:00] terminable date. That this life is not forever makes us value what we have right now. And I think that when you have that kind of experience, that it really, it makes you confront and be purposeful about, about where you are now because you have that undeniable experience of knowing that it’s not forever.
De’Vannon: And I know, I know we’re slightly over time. Can, can you gimme another Oh, I don’t care. I’ll talk to
Adrienne: you all night. I’m fine. I ain’t doing shit
De’Vannon: today. Thank you. I appreciate it. There’s a, there’s a couple of more points that I really, really, really, really, really a need to make. Let’s talk about life insurance for a second here.
Okay. But my aunt kicked the bucket a couple of years ago. This shit, okay? She was one of those ones who liked to go spend a per check at the riverboat casino. Every, every month. I’m not judging her for that. We had plenty of good times at Casino. She was also one of those ones who [00:59:00] believed that the rapture would happen and that, that she therefore did not need life insurance.
Well, she died and she didn’t have any life insurance, and then she didn’t have any savings because it was all up at the casino. Because she was always gonna strike it rich. Okay? On average, at least down here in Louisiana, I don’t know what it is, everywhere else, you’re looking at about 10 ish grand.
Okay. To, to put a bitch in the ground if they’re not a veteran, a beast, you know? So if you die and you don’t have no money, then that burden then falls to your loved ones to either, I guess, just discard you and leave you in the morgue. Down here you’ll see people having car washes and bake sales and shit, trying to hustle money to pay for a funeral.
And these are not necessarily like, I mean, my mean, my aunt was like an older person. I think she was in like her sixties, seventies. Okay. Right, right. Like a 15 year old kid who just happened to, you know. Yeah. It’s not a surprise
Adrienne: that you know, [01:00:00] that you might die someday days or relatively soon, you know?
Yeah, no, it happens. It happens all the time. And different, different places. So what’s the question? So what do you do? Like,
De’Vannon: I’m, I’m stressing the fact that this sort of thing can tear families down in a Oh, absolutely. Because my, a sibling that I no longer talked to attacked me because in their opinion, all three of a siblings were supposed to come up with like $2,500 or something like that.
I told my mom to burn her sister up and cremate her. You don’t have no money, you don’t have no options. But my, but my mom didn’t wanna do that, and so I was like, okay. Then I will figure out what I’m gonna donate and then we’ll just do the funeral. But I’m giving you the side eye cuz I don’t agree, but I’m still gonna help you, my mother.
But the sibling of mine decided that they were going to come up with the money. [01:01:00] This person’s always been controlling and I think probably a little narcissistic too, if not much. And so they decided to insult me and call me like entitled and everything. Cuz I said, I’m not paying 2,500 or 2,800.
Let me see what I could come up with. And then they went and drudged up, you know, over, you know, years ago when I was homeless in Houston, when I got h i right and, you know, hepatitis and all of that. And were saying like, you owe this to our parents and they helped you and everything like that. I was like, no, no, they’re not doing that now.
It’s not the time for you to bring up my history and then use it as a weapon to demonize me because you cannot control me. But. Her not having life insurance is what made the breeding ground for this. Now, this sibling of mine should have been come to me if they had some beef about what I went through.
Adrienne: And not, not wait for this terrible loss in your family to then also bring that up. How ridiculous is that? But it happens all the time. And I [01:02:00] think it’s because it’s, it’s easier to fight with your siblings than it is to grieve a loss a lot of times. So, but you’re absolutely right. Not every state life insurance isn’t part of pre-planning in every state, which I didn’t really know.
So in Louisiana, yeah, if you wanna pre-plan, most of the time you, you sit down, you figure out what services you want, how much they cost, and then you essentially buy a, a, a, a, an insurance policy to fund it. Not every state does that. So it would, Maine, they have mortuary trusts and you specifically cannot have you can’t sell life insurance for the purposes of funerals.
But the point, the point, the underlying point being, We’re all going to die. And a lot of people kind of make some assumptions about what’s gonna happen or what the contingencies are, and oh, don’t worry about me, just donate me to science. That’s not how that works. So in most places, you have to be on a donor registry 30 to 60 days before death, and you’re still not [01:03:00] guaranteed for acceptance.
If they’re all filled up with, you know, 67 year old chubby white ladies that day, then your body’s not gonna be donated and someone’s gonna have to pay for your funeral. Now, some states you know, some places the coroner will step up or there there’s indigent funding or something like that. Like the city will pay X amount of dollars for cremation and y amount of dollars for burial, that kind of stuff.
So sometimes there are some kind of safeguards, but not all the time and not every municipality. So there were some parishes in Louisiana. If you had a living blood relation who had a penny to their name, you were not going to be paid for your, you know, indigent funeral stuff was not gonna come into play.
The coroner was simply not gonna approve that. So it is wise to, on some level, have some kind of preparation, whether or not that’s a life insurance policy, an [01:04:00] emergency savings fund, or something like that. I think to your point, too, expressing what it is that you want or would want or absolutely don’t want.
So at some point I never knew, but my mom, she was like, please don’t cremate me. That idea horrifies me. Okay. Dooly noted. You know what I mean? So, funding not withstanding, I, I know what she wants to do. So there’s not, because families, a lot of times there’s, there’s, there is contention about what to do and the fact that sometimes families are limited by what, what funds they have available, you know, so yeah, aside from pre-planning, just giving yourself and your family members the grace to, you know, maybe grandma would’ve wanted a, you know, a copper basket and a most beautiful spot in the cemetery, but if you’ve only, you’re only able to muster a couple of thousand dollars, then that’s not gonna happen.
And so let’s, let’s give ourselves permission to just do [01:05:00] what needs to be done and, you know offer ourselves some grace and forgiveness and it not being what we wish we could do, you know? But yeah, family, family, family’s fighting all, all the time. Not just about financial stuff, but it, it becomes, I, I literally had one time, two sisters, dad died, his two sisters left, and at some point, the arrangement conference, I don’t know what made her mad, but she looked over at her sister and she said, I don’t even know why you’re here making these arrangements.
Daddy never even loved you. So, okay, let’s take a step back ladies. Let’s maybe take a deep breath and acknowledge that we’re going through some difficult things right now, and maybe not try to rectify the entire history of your difficult sibling relationship right now. You know what I mean? So yeah, yeah.
We, we see that girl.
De’Vannon: Y’all get life [01:06:00] insurance. I don’t care how young you’ll be. Yeah. Get life insurance. Babies and kids are, my parents have had coverage on, on us, on, on us kids, I think all our lives and shit, you know, just because of course we grew up in the hood with crack houses everywhere and in death, you know, at every turn.
Right. So, you know, they held no illusions about the finiteness of life. Do you think you had a different view of death before getting into this career field as you do now? Or what, has it changed it at all, or not really?
Adrienne: I. I guess certain attitudes changed. I think when I first started in this line of work, I was more, I don’t wanna say like pro cre, pro, pro cremation or anti burial, but I kind of leaned towards cremation.
But since working in the field it’s more worrisome to me because it makes it really easy. And a lot of a lot of circumstances for families to kind of skip over stuff. And I think it’s a [01:07:00] similar kind of tendency that people don’t make eye contact when they know they’re talking to a mortician.
It’s that, you know, that it’s, well, we’re just gonna do cremation and that’s it. We’re never gonna see the body, we’re never gonna do this, we’re never gonna do that. It’s that. And they think that they can just kind of fast forward to the part where they have dealt with their grief, you know to some magical closure thing that if you just skip it, you’ll end up at the closure part and.
Again, that’s, it’s not how that works. So my attitude towards embalming and, and visitations and that sort of thing, that has definitely changed. And I’m much more pro spending time with the body. Not necessarily embalming, but you know, the first kind of the task of grief is to come to terms with the reality of the loss.
And when you, every time that you see the body in whatever manner it is, if it’s, you know, if [01:08:00] you your loved one dies and you put on their clothes or comb their hair or something, when you’re waiting for the morticians to come, whatever kind of interaction that, that you can have with your deceased loved one is almost universally gonna be to your benefit.
It’s gonna help you process this new reality. You know, people say all the time I just wanna remember her like she was, but she was alive. And now she’s not. And so that’s different. And, and while denial and while forgetting that a death has occurred, which is super common, you know in the immediate aftermath of a loss, you know, there’s a reason that happens.
And that’s our brain kind of protecting us from that. So we get a few minutes of like a reprieve from it, but long term, you have to come to grips with the reality of the loss to move forward in your grief journey. And so the, the whole, the tendency of people to just, you know, the [01:09:00] mortician comes, takes ’em away.
You never see the body. You sign whatever paperwork and send them your visa and boom, boom, boom. And that’s it. You know that is, is not it’s not the most effective way. It doesn’t situate people well to process their grief. And then you get, you, you have people that have these chronic problems with grief.
It’s not, it’s not something that you can just fast forward through as difficult as it is, you know? So that’s, that’s certainly changed. And I do try to express that and get people to understand that. But part partially it’s met with a little bit of skepticism. Cause like we talked about the old rich white guys throughout the decades, just trying to build people for more and more money.
You know, I think partially people think, oh, is this lady just trying to upsell me? And I’m not, I don’t care what, like, what you do, it’s up to you. It’s, it’s what’s right for your family. But you know at least [01:10:00] getting people to stop and think about that I think would be
De’Vannon: beneficial. Right? Because look, y’all, it’s not like I’ve never seen a funeral home go out of business.
I’ve never seen them run out of clientele, you know, so to speak. It’s a solid ass career field. You’ve got the, the stomach for it. And let’s talk about some unusual requests. I just got about like two or three more questions. Mm-hmm. I’d like you to tell me, we were talking about the dinner parties earlier and you said you’ve been asked a few interesting questions, care to share anything anyone’s asked you.
Adrienne: Yeah, I don’t, people vehemently believe that bodies will sit up out of nowhere, that I’ll just be, you know, walking through the prep room, blah, blah, blah, and then just all of a sudden that doesn’t happen. And then I’ll tell ’em it doesn’t happen, and they’re like, no, my Uncle Morty’s, college roommates, best friend’s accountant was, you know, volunteer in the morgue or whatever it [01:11:00]was.
And they’ll argue with me over that. I’ve had one, one lady was like what do you do with the organs? I was like, What do you, what do you mean? I don’t, I don’t do anything with the organs. They stay where they are, you know what I mean? Like, but she legitimately thought, I guess I, I don’t know. And it’s true, like back in, I dunno, the 16 hundreds in London.
Yeah, they did, they did, they did take out the inns and that was their very rudimentary kind of method at body preservation. So yeah. But it’s been a long time since then. Okay. And so we don’t we don’t, we don’t take out organs for no reason. You know what I mean? So that’s, it’s kind of interesting to see the kind of misconceptions that people have about embalming in particular, I think is people are really curious about.
De’Vannon: Yeah. Do do the, do the guy cadavers, pop boners? [01:12:00]
Adrienne: Not really. Typically, no. But you know, it depends. Your circumstances of death have a lot to do with the body that you leave behind. So, There are circumstances if people are straining or some kind of like cardiovascular event. Certain, certain things might have a heightened state, so to speak.
De’Vannon: Yeah. Because you know, you know, you read about from time to time, like these women breaking into the funeral homes to fuck the cadaver. So there has to be something like,
Adrienne: see, I’ve only ever heard the opposite where it’s, it’s the dudes and such
De’Vannon: cadavers, not as sworn. I heard about girls doing, doing it too, but, well, you know, speaking of necrophilia, have you encountered any of that
Adrienne: in your I have not.
No. No. There’s there are unfor, not necessarily necrophilia, but there, there is some untoward behavior in the, in, in the field and people do need to be aware of that. Not necessarily sexual in nature, [01:13:00] but organ, there is organ harvesting. My whole spiel I just had about, that’s not a normal part of it, but there, there was a lady I forgot what state, I wanna say Ohio.
I’m not real sure. But she, for cremation, she was essentially harvesting organs and selling them. So there are, there are gross untoward things that happen. But no, I, I do not associate myself with, with things such as that.
De’Vannon: So, so, so, so, so you’re saying a family would pay for a cremation and this worker would yank the organs out before burning them up and then go and sell them on the black market?
Adrienne: Correct. There’s that. There’s also people who think that they are donating their bodies to science, when in fact they’re just donating their body to businesses that they’re body brokers. They sell bodies to sometimes it’s for medical purposes, so sometimes [01:14:00] it’s for medical education. So it’s, doctors use cadavers in their training, but sometimes there, there was one in Louisiana.
A year and a half ago where the family thought that, well, the family was donating the body to a company that then sold the gentleman’s body to an oddities company that essentially as a part of like an oddities and curiosities tour where you’d go and see like the bearded lady and people like hanging from piercings and kind of weird shit like that.
And they were essentially toping this man for you would pay $250 and be able to watch an autopsy. So, but that was a World War II vet and the family sure as shit never knew, never had any idea. But that’s the thing is people, you know, they, there’s when, when finances are an issue and you think that you’re making good choices, sometimes you just happen [01:15:00] upon some of these gross companies that are not Clear in the fine print of what you’re signing away, you know, but in that case, although it was morally repugnant and I, ugh there’s nothing legally the family donated the body to this company.
And so you lose control over what happens at that point. So, okay. I do caution people to be careful about some of these flyby night kind of places. That if you look at the fine print, they can do what they wanna do or they can just not take you. More often than not, it’s not the being sold for public autopsy.
Rather it’s, you know, you have this all set up for some for profit donation company that just doesn’t wanna pick you up that day. And so they’ll just leave you at whatever funeral home happened to pick you up and walk away. And this family that thought that they had made [01:16:00] plans and thought that they had a plan in place.
Come to find out, it was kind of at the whim of this nefarious company.
De’Vannon: The best thing I learned from watching Breaking Bad was that the the devil is in the details. It is. We need to read this motherfucking fine print. Yeah. In the case of that veteran is I’m a veteran. I would’ve went in there and broke, broke, broke him out. I wouldn’t, would stole him back. Fuck all that.
Adrienne: Well, and there was a public outcry, and they did bring him back home and, and, and, and try to restore some honor to his processes. But again, that’s, they, they donated the body. And that’s, you know, most of it. I’m, I, I hope most of the time I, I know people that run donation programs. So most donation programs are, are good.
They’re ethical, you know, it’s good stuff, but it not every, not every single one is, and when people have this tendency to be so avoidant about death in general, you [01:17:00] know if they get so far as to think that they’re donating, honestly, that’s farther than most people get. So good on them for that. But if it seems too good to be true, it may be, you know, so if, if it is just some miraculous company where you just sign on the dot and then they’re gonna come pick up a body and you don’t have to have any, you know, that’s there’s more to it than that and consumers need to just like you would when you’re buying a car or making any other big purchase, because a funeral for most people, it’s like the top five, top 10 largest monetary purchases you’re gonna make in your life.
So, but whereas a lot of times consumers are savvy in other realms, like, you know, the consumer reports the hell out of a car before they buy it, you know, or they’ll look at Better Business Bureau or Ripoff Report or something to see the integrity of the car dealership, for instance, that they would buy that car from that kind of due diligence doesn’t happen.[01:18:00]
With funerals. And so it you know, it, it kind of makes it hard for a consumer to, you know, when you don’t acknowledge death is gonna happen, you don’t plan for it financially. You don’t do any of your due diligence in making sure you know what services that you’re choosing or the provider that you’re choosing.
And then you wait until the death happens and then you have to deal with all of that stuff and grief at the same time. It’s too much. You know what I mean? So that’s, it’s kind of the evangelism of, you know, let’s, let’s just make a plan. Everybody just tell your best friend, you know, cremate me or, you know, cream maybe, or, you know, bury me at sea.
Or just make your plans known and, and, and, you know, ha have a way to carry out those plans. The
De’Vannon: girl all very wise advice, Adrian. So the girl who got caught with the organs, okay, first of all, how did, how did she get [01:19:00] caught in? Who the fuck is buying organs now? I’m aware that organs and stuff are used in like witchcraft circles and stuff, especially down here, you know, I know that use, but how did she get caught?
Who the fuck is buying it and who the fuck is, what are they using ’em for? I
Adrienne: don’t, I wish I had researched that particular case before I brought it up. I don’t remember specifically to my recollection. I think that she got caught because there is some control over some donation stuff. So it may be that there were surprise organs so that there were, there were things that were there and there was not proper accounting for how they got there.
I think in her case that she had forged some of the permission forms you know, purporting to be the next of Ken to sign off on the paperwork that says, yes you can. You can harvest this organ for whatever purposes. So I think in her case that she was essentially contracting with the family to perform a [01:20:00] direct cremation, but hey, she didn’t wanna let a perfectly good dead body go to waste.
And so she would just fabricate the paperwork to then donate some portion either in Oregon or whatever kind of donation that she was doing. So but I don’t know. I don’t know theoretically, I mean, al almost all, you know, everyone except Colorado, I believe has a state board, so there is a professional licensing component of it.
So there’s like funeral police, as it were. But I don’t know, in that particular case, I don’t know how she got caught. A lot of times the ones that are acting badly get caught because stop returning phone calls and they don’t return erms. So people just keep calling. It’s six weeks after death and you still haven’t gotten the cremated remains back.
At that point families get more aggressive and then when they’re not getting answers, then they go to media or they go to a state board or something like that. And then investigations ensue. [01:21:00] So,
De’Vannon: girl, and as, as I was, I was just like trying to try looking up online by like, who might buy stolen Oregon says, this is what I have to do, this is what I have to do when I produce, edit, and you know, write copy and do, and do the interviews for my own show.
So all the studios out there, paramount, nbc, whoever, one day, whenever you’re ready, do syndicate me so I can have a team of producers to do all of this for me so I can focus on doing what I do best.
Adrienne: I love it. I love it. But no medical schools, there’s actually a century’s old problem of medical cadavers.
All the, the grave robbers of days. Yo, not only were they trying to steal the jewelry off the, off the, the corpses, they were actually stealing the corpses to bring them to medical schools and they’d get paid under the table for every body they body they brought back in. So, no, this is, that’s like a thing.
It’s a thing. There’s some there [01:22:00] was some huge riot that happened. I wanna say it was in Boston. I don’t know it was Harvard, but it was some, you know, some medical school up in the northeast in like the 17 or 18 hundreds is this really famous riot that happened because b bodies kept getting dug up and stolen and they just I think the people got caught because they happened to steal a body of someone that had some kind of notable physical attribute.
Like they had like a club foot or something like that. So they all knew like that’s, that’s like. Tamara from down the street, they knew they knew the body, you know what I mean? So it’s crazy. It’s crazy. But that, that’s happened for centuries. I don’t think it’s as prevalent today as it, you know, was back, back in the day.
De’Vannon: you don’t know until, you know, I don’t put shit past people in this day and time. Man is capable of any fucking bad, low level bullshit skull fuckery. Yeah, [01:23:00] absolutely. That’s absolutely true. So when we were prepping for this interview, you were telling me, and I don’t know if you, that you can talk about this online, but you were you were saying that there was like a Mardi Gras themed a funeral and I guess people can request different things.
Is that something you’re able to talk about? Of course you won names
Adrienne: the most, like healing part of these funerals and that’s, that’s why I don’t try to get people to like embalm and have services cuz I’m trying to sell them stuff. I try to get them to do services because, The chores and kind of the prep that we do for these services is how we heal.
So in this lady’s case, it’s just in generally speaking, we want funerals to be personalized. Okay. Not just because every funeral director across the country cannot stand to hear on eagle’s wings One more time. It’s not just because of that, although it is true. [01:24:00] It’s to the family’s benefit to personalize wherever they can, however they can.
And so it looks every, every funeral theoretically would be very different. So recently I buried a lady who, she went all out for all holidays. She was like born on Thanksgiving and died on President’s Day. I mean, she was all about holidays and the family decided to have her service just by happenstance on, on a Tuesday that thanks to their South Louisiana funeral director.
They, they knew was Mardi Gras was Fat Tuesday. And so they leaned into it. So when I tell you, look, these people up in, in Dover, New Hampshire walking in, it was great. Some of them came in costumes. I was very impressed. Mostly it was like Lakers, la Lakers co like jerseys and stuff. But people would, they came in like tutus and stuff.
We had beads, we had Mardi Gras decorations everywhere. And it wa it’s not, you know, I think maybe Martha Stewart [01:25:00] would be horrified, you know what I mean? It’s not necessarily the kind of somber like ooh kind of thing, you know what I mean? But it honored her, it honored her spirit. So we had a playlist that was a mixture of her signature karaoke tunes and, you know, Dr.
John. So all, I mean all kinds of stuff. And I don’t know, it’s just, it was the process that the family went through to get ready for it is, is therapeutic. So when you sit and you make. You make a playlist or you gather the pictures, or you decide what readings honor them or you know, what wanna show their quote collection or what have you, you know, whatever kind of ways that families can grapple is great.
So I, I try to help them figure out the balance between not being overwhelmed and not like having this pressure to like Pinterest it to death. You know what I mean? Like, this isn’t, you’re not putting together a [01:26:00] funeral or a remembrance or a visitation or a service for other people. And don’t, I, I try to remind them that it’s not, you don’t have to do shit.
Okay? So but whatever you can do is gonna be to your benefit and then whatever feels overwhelming to you, let me do it. So Obits are a really good example of that. Like, in my family, I’m the Obi writer. That’s, I’m obviously I word good, you know what I mean? So that’s, that’s how I That’s how I grapple personally.
And so, but for other people, the thought of a semicolon just send shivers down their spine. So I’ll like get ’em started, but then, you know, get, get all the, the boring formatting stuff taken care of and then give it to them so that they can do kind of the artful part of it and put in the biographical stuff and the what the, what the person’s really about.
You know? So that’s, that’s my job is to do what I can to lay a foundation so that families can, can really [01:27:00] remember and celebrate whatever it was about their loved ones that made them unique and happy.
De’Vannon: I think what they did is what Jesus had in mind when he told us to rejoice. When someone dies in the mourn, when someone is born, you know, you know, to, to dies, to be released from the cares of this world to, to create a human life is to rate somebody for a lifetime that’s not gonna Yeah.
Adrienne: that they never asked for. Right. Versus, yeah. Release. So, but I think that that’s reflective of, I think that you probably have what I would call a healthier attitude towards the great unknown, you know? But for people that are like s scared of hell and scared of whatever it is that, you know, their conceptions of worry is how, how, I don’t know.
I just my, I feel bad for people who have that fear and I’m glad for, you know, folks like you and I that have a little more faith [01:28:00] in the okayness of whatever it is that happens.
De’Vannon: You know, it was h i v, like getting h i v is what sealed my mortality and my like consciousness, even though I was close to the Lord and, you know, and all of that.
I still had not accepted the finality of death until about 30 when I got H I v. And once I got that diagnosis, it was like, And then as you know, I, you know, I, I, you know, I just came to terms with it. It, you know, I was sad about it, but, you know, the reality was always there. It was just a shift Yeah. Of perspective and then absolutely know that I’m not actually gonna live forever.
And then there went my illusions of invincibility. Hmm. Which was Well, and I’m glad that, I’m glad for that.
Adrienne: No, absolutely. Absolutely. A lot of people have heard of the, the stages of grief, you know, the five stages of dealing with grief. That Elizabeth, that’s Elizabeth Kley Ross, that was written about people facing their own mortality.
It wasn’t about people who were [01:29:00] grieving loss, it was about people who were facing impending death. And, and that is I, in those cases, I think they were very, very sick, obviously at the end of their lives. But it’s, it’s, to your point, that’s, it’s, you know, when we have this something that we can’t escape that we have to deal with, we deal with it, you know?
And I’m glad and I’m glad that you found peace, and I bet that you have more meaning and purpose in your life because when you know, you know what I mean, when you know that death is absolute and that this no day is guaranteed, you typically are a little bit more serious about what you do with your days and you don’t waste time on the bullshit.
De’Vannon: you got that right. You don’t waste time on the bullshit. Mm mm mm mm Gotta let, gotta let all of it go. As you said, I’m thinking about this four and a half, re four and a half year relationship that I had, which I just had the end the other month. And I’ll be [01:30:00] doing a, a show on that, you know, in a, in a couple of weeks on covert narcissism because he was Oh yeah, the whole thing I didn’t know.
Cover covert narcissism was a thing. And that’s who I’ve been in this relationship with for all these years. But look out for the solo show on that. mentioned burying someone out to sea earlier, and it could not tie in better to what I discovered when I was poking around online the other day.
Y’all, I did not know that cruise ships have morticians and like a whole Morgan shit down there in the boat because bitches drop dead. It’s only a seven day damn cruise and they’re expecting someone to die, you know, to the extent that they have permanent morgues installed in who the fucking carnival cruise and whoever the fuck ELs.
Can you tell us about this? Because this is like this, like what, what the fuck is this?
Adrienne: No, I don’t actually have specific now. I, I’ve never been on a cruise. I’ve, I don’t know much about cruise morgues [01:31:00] specifically, but yeah, people die all the time and dying involves a lot of paperwork and people don’t realize that.
So having dedicated crew that are there because you know, where you die, international waters, I guess whatever flag is waving. On top of the ship is gonna control some of the, the paperwork aspect. But yeah, formally they would either put you in a barrel of whiskey or put you out in the ocean and, and, and drop you in the ocean.
So because you have to do something with the dead bodies. So, hey, it’s great that there’s a morgue there because you’re not gonna be pickled or just dropped into the ocean. So, hey. It’s funny too cuz my prefecture, so the person who taught me during my apprenticeship was the makeup he did, he was a licensed cosmetologist before he came into this field.
So he he did cruise ship hair and makeup and stuff. So I learned from the best. It was great cuz I was a real [01:32:00] tomboy before, so, but now I’m very good at makeup, so thanks Mr. Lopez.
De’Vannon: I, I see those lips from over here. Girl, you giving me life. And so, so this is the final, final question for real this time.
So it has to do with cremation versus burial. Besides the cost difference, I’m curious is, is there any other differences you would want people to know? And then while you’re talking about that, while I was researching this, apparently people find interesting objects in dead bodies in your career field.
So like, I was reading an article and they burned the person’s body up and out came a belt buckle and they had ingested at some point in their life, and it was, I guess there or whatever. When they were digging around in a, a non cremated body, they found a fucking mouse in this, in this woman’s intestines.
So I would be curious, have you ever come across any interesting foreign [01:33:00] objects in anyone, and then talk to us about burial versus cremation.
Adrienne: I. I have not found any mice in people. I have, because again, so most of the time when we’re embalming someone who hasn’t had an autopsy performed on them, we’re not, we don’t get in there.
So there may be all manner of things inside that we are not aware of, but you’re right. So with cremation, part of the cremation process is the metal that’s left over and sometimes it can be very interesting metal. So, and sometimes people want that metal back. So I’ve had people that wanted to I think it was a World War II vet that had a bullet that they never could extract.
So the family wanted the bullet after he was cremated, so we could make that happen. We also had a lady who’s, I dunno, this, her mom had all kinds of spinal surgery and that lady got every bit of metal back and made some art with it or some such. [01:34:00] So the fact that people want some of these things back is kind of a, a wonder.
To me sometimes, but hey, whatever works in your process that’s, that’s good on that. You know what I mean? No, and just in terms of I’ve had some special requests for things that go into the casket. That’s always fun. I had one, one family that was really worried that their loved one would be uncomfortable.
It looked like the casket bed was a little too stiff or something. So they brought in a swimming pool raft, like one of those rectangular rafts for your swimming pool. So we had to put that underneath the person before we could lay them out in their casket. So there’s and then of course, all manner of things that people slip into caskets.
I actually had someone who was trying to put in a gun into the casket before the casket went for cremation. And I had to explain that that’s, that’s not gonna work. We can’t, can’t be doing that [01:35:00] there. So, but but no, just in terms of the differences between burial and cremation, The main, the main thing, and I talked about that before, is I want people to understand that just because you’re cremating doesn’t mean that you don’t have the opportunity to see the body in some manner beforehand, nor does it limit what you can do after the cremation happens.
So a lot of people think, oh, well, you know, grandma’s gonna be cremated so no one can see her beforehand. But you can, you may have to pay, depending on the firm, you may have to pay an extra couple hundred dollars, but you typically there are some very narrow circumstances that might prevent it.
But generally speaking, you, you can see an embalmed body privately, you know, with just a handful of people. And that’s good. And I wish more people knew about that and took advantage of that. Cuz like I said, it’s, it’s gonna help them process long term. So almost every [01:36:00] time I hear someone say, well, you know, I don’t.
I don’t know if I wanna see her like that. You gotta remember when they come into our care, you know, and if this does go on the web, so when people die, here’s what people look like when they die. Okay? And you’ve seen ’em in the hospital and they’ve got tubes and they’re, and it’s very uncomfortable. And no, you don’t, if that’s your parting memory, you don’t wanna remember them like that.
You would much prefer to remember them like they were okay. But that’s where I come in. And so even without embalming, we can go from eh to, so they look, they look peaceful and you can see them at peace. And so, you know, when you’ve got, you know, caregivers who’ve been seeing someone suffer for years and years and years to see them, you know, have a little pink in their cheeks again, you know, and to look at rest rather than, you know, in the, in writhing and suffering.
It’s a better parting image. And so I, I [01:37:00] just, I, I hope people keep that in mind and take more advantage of, of, of all the services that they can and don’t limit themselves, you know what I mean? Because they assume, they make these assumptions again, because nobody wants to talk about death and nobody wants to look into services and nobody wants to call around and do this and that, and all the kind of prep work.
So they just, it happens and then they get through it as quickly as they can. And sometimes it works out and sometimes it, it puts people in a tough spot,
De’Vannon: oh, fuck me in the tits with a dick. What Great, what, what, what, what phenomenal information you have given us. Madam Eddie? That’s all my questions for you. If there’s any final words you’d like to say to the world, you’ve given us a heap load of information that we. Didn’t know before. I look forward to releasing this episode.
And the last thing I have to [01:38:00] say is just remind you bitches get life insurance. If there’s anything you’d like to say, say it and then we’ll go ahead and close it out.
Adrienne: Say it. I would say, say it. I think that’s one of the secrets of happiness of life that I have discovered as a funeral director is I know more and better than most that this day is not guaranteed.
And you never know. You never know when there’s gonna be a car accident. You never know. You really don’t. And so people struggle with death because, like you said, it’s final. So if you’ve got some shit to say, say that. If you love someone, tell ’em. If you’re mad at somebody, tell ’em if you’ve got these like lingering things.
You know, it’s when someone dies and you can’t tell them anymore. That’s what really hurts for a lot of people. So you know, [01:39:00] tomorrow is not guaranteed you guys. So call your mom or she’s bitch, fuck that bitch and call your best friend instead and talk about your feelings and just get it out there because pretending it’s not gonna happen is not gonna stop it from happening.
So you might as well just be open, be honest and trust that it’s all gonna be okay
De’Vannon: cuz it is. And that’s the tea y’all heard it from. Everything is gonna be all right. Thank you for joining us today, man, dear, I love you so much.
Adrienne: Thank you for having me. It’s been absolutely delightful.
De’Vannon: Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to the Sex Drugs in Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at Sex Drugs in jesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at Davanon Sex Drugs and [01:40:00] jesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.
My name is Davanon, and it’s been wonderful being your host today. And just remember that everything is gonna be all right.