Graveyard Shift

A Driver Who Transports Dead Bodies To Funeral Homes Reveals Details Of The Job You Never Imagined  

Jacob Shelton
19.4k views 14 items

Every day, funeral home workers and third-party drivers transport the bodies of the deceased from their homes and hospitals to morgues and funeral homes. Though it may sound too morbid to even consider as a career, a funeral home driver needs to exist for a funeral service to happen. And one of those daily drivers hopped on Reddit to explain the ins and outs of the job, offering plenty of eye-opening information about what life is like for someone who spends most of their time working with the dead.

Much like workers at funeral homes, this transport driver illuminates the morbid details most people don't think about when it comes to transporting dead bodies to funeral spaces. Unless you happen to work as a mortician, you likely know very little about what happens to a body after someone dies.

In a Reddit AMA, this real-deal driver who transports dead bodies to funeral homes explained just how demanding, both physically and mentally, their job gets. Not only do they deal with the bereaved families of the deceased, but they also remain on call to move dead bodies for most of the week. It's a strange and sometimes monotonous job, and certainly offers a new way of thinking about the phrase "dead on arrival."

Their Worst Experience Involved A Decomposing Hoarder

From Redditor /u/Baelliin:

Definitely my craziest, and also worst experience was a decomposition in a hoarder house.

When I say hoarder house, I mean like TLC's hoarding Buried Alive type stuff. Garbage up to the ceiling, rotting fridge, spiders and roaches everywhere, going to the bathroom in tea jugs, all the rooms blocked off except one small bedroom with one small path. It was horrendous.

Of course, there was also a three-week decomposing body inside this small, hot, hoarder house, so the smell was horrible, and the body itself was heavily decomposed, covered in maggots and bones showing through the simultaneously dry and leaking skin. The picture I painted is pretty awful, right? Well on top of all this, the deceased was also 300+ pounds. It took three of us about two-to-three hours to get the deceased out.

Decomposition Drives Most People Out Of The Business

From Redditor /u/Baelliin:

A good decomp is definitely the true test. My coworker that trained me said that it's when most people quit if they're going to. If you can handle a decomposition then you can do anything in this line of work.

Dead Bodies Make A Horrible Sound

From Redditor /u/Baelliin:

Trying to move [one man] made this horrible cracking/ripping noise, I don't even know how to describe it really. Once [bodies] get to about three weeks or so, they start to dry up and mummify a bit, so it gets better actually at that point forward. One-to-two weeks or so is a nightmare from what I've heard, never had one at its worst.

Florida Needs A Lot Of Body Transport Drivers

From Redditor /u/Baelliin:

I live in Florida so the funeral homes are big down here. To my knowledge, most funeral homes in the U.S. do their own transports, and some here still do (even the funeral homes we have contracts with have hearses available if need be or for ones they wish to do themselves).

The funeral homes here in Florida are just so busy that there was definitely a demand for a third-party transport. I'm sure that the funeral homes could probably handle it all themselves right now if they wanted, but during the Winter (which as crazy as this sounds in the situation, is the busy season for dying) there is no possible way that the funeral homes could take care of all the cases.