“During my studies, I saw all kinds of frightful faces of the deceased in my textbooks – some of which were even smashed out of shape.”
“I didn’t expect dead bodies would have such a strong smell, especially those that have started to decay. Something that happens if the body is not sent to the funeral home for several days.”
When changing clothes for the deceased, the liquid inside the body may also pour from the mouth as the body is being turned over, frequently running into the cosmetician’s hands.
“We never wear gloves when changing clothes as it makes it difficult to button up the deceased’s clothing,”
“At the beginning, I even vomited at the sight of the liquid, and completely lost my appetite. But now I’m gradually getting accustomed to it.”
The first step is to wash the face of the dead person; second involves giving the body a simple face lift, for example helping to close the eyes and mouth; third involves applying cosmetics. Usually one team of four people handle each body.
“These difficulties are not important as long as our work satisfies the families,”
“The best reward for us is to hear from loved ones that the deceased looks like they are sleeping.”
Haixia, P 2002, “Working at a funeral parlour,” viewed on the 5th of September 2011.