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I’m 30 & I Embalm Dead Bodies For A Living | For A Living | Refinery29

November 9, 2019


Not all bodies, but a good amount of bodies, need tissue builder. It is lovely to help with building out faces such as sunken in temples, eyes, even lips. It’s like a botox for the deceased. My name is Miranda. I’m a mortician here at Milward Funeral Directors in Lexington, Kentucky. This is the entrance to Milward’s. Our casket showroom. Walnut, hickory, maple, I mean all kinds. This room is our visitation room. We call this our music room. What I’m sitting on is an antique. This is a casket bearer, it’s made for casketed bodies. This is our embalming room. This is an absolutely sacred place and no one is allowed in here without authorization. This is Miranda. She is just at a hospital over at Baptist, so that would be a pretty simple removal. I don’t mind going by myself. Right now I’m going to Baptist, to pick up a decedent who has just expired. When I was in mortuary school I learned about death care, but now that I’m working in a funeral home I have learned more about the process of grief. I believe that my job has given me strength that I didn’t know I was gonna have. And when I first realized what death was I was scared. I would lay in bed, think about death and it was like this black hole. It was anxiety. My feelings on death have affected my feelings on life. I really do live every day like, maybe I’ll die when I’m washing my hair and putting myself together. I’m like, “Well if I was in a car wreck, it could just be cut off any time.” Everything is so small in life and you really realize the big picture when you’re faced with death how simple and sweet life can be. I believe that women in the death industry are the change we need in funeral service. For a long time it was a men driven business and having women in this field, it’s lightening the load for these grieving families. Embalming makes me feel like an artist more than a scientist. Yes, I know my anatomy. Yes, I know what these chemicals are doing, but it has everything to do with art after that. An average embalming from start to finish for me takes anywhere from an hour a half to two hours. I look at the deceased and think, “Wow.” After everything they’ve done on earth it just must be amazing to be having the answers that they’ve finally been given. I might even talk to them sometimes. They haven’t talked back yet. Cosmetics for the deceased really aren’t like the ones we buy in stores. The ones we buy in stores are gonna react to the warmth of your skin. That’s why we use special cosmetics. For the ladies I like to use more of an opaque makeup. After I do cosmetics on a body and dress the body, I look at that body in the casket and think maybe this is how you look in the afterlife. I hope that’s what families take away from what I do as well. That they can have that image of their loved one enjoying whatever’s next. I think green burial is lovely and cremation is also an option. There’s so many options for cremation, which I think is a good thing. But I also, obviously think embalming is beneficial for the viewing process. Viewing is number one priority. This beautiful pink and white casket has been very popular with our little elderly ladies. Even if it’s just you coming in and spending a minute with your loved one, I think it’s so important to view the body. When I die, I would like my makeup look to be like my everyday look. My lipstick will be a bright red. Preferably Ruby Woo from Mac. The brighter the better. I feel like I’ve gained a positive outlook on death more than a fear. I’m not afraid of the dead body. I’m not afraid of touching the dead body. I’m not afraid of cleaning up. I’m not afraid of just being a comfort to someone that most people would be afraid to comfort. If someone dies and I’m there, I will absolutely and honestly take care of your loved one as though you were taking care of them. I will give them the love that you will give them. I will make sure that whatever happens to them happens with respect and dignity. I just hope that people can take away that death doesn’t have to be a negative experience.

100 Comments

  • Reply Refinery29 April 28, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    What’s a career you find fascinating? Comment below💕

  • Reply Nay Nay01 September 18, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    My dream job! However I struggle to find any training or information within the career ☹️

  • Reply Ash Marie September 18, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    I’m currently interesting in becoming a mortician. It seems to be the only job I’m interested in in terms of a forever job😪

  • Reply Anna Banana September 19, 2019 at 4:22 am

    My grandpa is going to be creameted but I was with him as he died and after

  • Reply armwars September 20, 2019 at 5:19 am

    All people who works with corpses are psychopaths
    that's it. end of story

  • Reply evan brown September 20, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Lol weird lady but nice she loves her job

  • Reply Preston Yuen September 21, 2019 at 2:03 am

    i see the whole process of what they did to my dad

  • Reply Sherrie Zack September 21, 2019 at 3:13 am

    So she's stick in the 50s

  • Reply Megan Every September 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    anyone else enjoying the asmr aspect of this xd

  • Reply Spencer Colgan Wallpaper & Painting September 21, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    This is extremely unnerving.

  • Reply Spencer Colgan Wallpaper & Painting September 21, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Are these really dead bodies?

  • Reply Maisie Randall September 22, 2019 at 10:26 am

    i’d love this job omg

  • Reply DJ Minty94 September 22, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    When I viewed my Nan when she died I got a very weird feeling that when I looked right at her or even just in the room with her it felt like she was going to just wake up and look at me and say “stop your crying, I’m here now” 😭 is that normal? 5th July 2019 at 12:15pm in the afternoon on a Friday 😔 I’ll never forget you Nana 😩

  • Reply Frank Chen September 22, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    what's the tune starting at 3:41?

  • Reply нεηтαι September 23, 2019 at 12:46 am

    Jeffree Star Will Be Embalmed With Liquid Gold And Set In A Coffin Of Solid Diamond.

  • Reply Howard Alleyne September 23, 2019 at 7:01 am

    I like her fashion style

  • Reply Hrish Nav September 23, 2019 at 11:46 am

    How much u wanna bet she owns a cat ?

  • Reply Jaylah Gonzalez September 23, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    0:59 ummm

  • Reply Alberto Garcia September 24, 2019 at 5:48 am

    24/7 someone around the world dies they don't go through this process but those who do through it that sad because they were once living human beings now there being prepared to be buried

  • Reply MITCHELL WIGGS September 24, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    She seems to enjoy this a little too much

  • Reply mimi H September 24, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Hi I'm hoping you can answer a question. I just recently received a copy of my Dad's death certificate. In California there a spot that reads embalmer's signature and on my Dad's it reads not embalmed. Is there anything I can do to prove or guarantee that my Dad was embalmed. Sincerely

  • Reply Katarzynamaria Muszynska September 24, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    How is that respect and dignity showing dead body on tv?
    And also she used ( expired)
    Omg you can say cheese expired
    Can you she use word ( gone or passed away)

  • Reply AMERTO DJ September 25, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    You will be dead a day

  • Reply Nathan Augustine September 25, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    I miss my grandmother 😢😢😢😢

  • Reply rudy martinez September 27, 2019 at 12:01 am

    A plastic suergeon

  • Reply James Cameron September 30, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    This woman has handling embalming chemicals for many years..as a man I will scare of her more than the dead..

  • Reply narasha johnson October 1, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    This has always been my dream job ,and I also live in Kentucky ,omg!!I want to meet you!!

  • Reply Erika Ware October 1, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    I’m 17 and I work at a funeral home 🙂

  • Reply Cee Cee B. October 2, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Cool lady. I appreciate her style, her heart, and her level of dedication to her craft. It's a complicated profession…

  • Reply Brook Chooky October 2, 2019 at 10:53 am

    I feel like she is too happy for her job

  • Reply DRSReaper275 October 3, 2019 at 1:42 am

    What is with my YouTube recommendations today like WTF!!?!?!!!!!?!?!!?

  • Reply cableandchain !!!!! October 3, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    i love her she got nice emersons

  • Reply Alessandro Bautista October 4, 2019 at 1:36 am

    She's pretty hot but why does she dresses like in the 1950?

  • Reply lifecloud2 October 4, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    I would want all embalmers to be like you. You are a truly caring person and I get the impression that each client you work with is treated as an individual with respect and care. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply Bammonb October 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    This is the next season of American Horror Story

  • Reply Luna Volva Forest Witch October 4, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Love this 💞

  • Reply Ted Nguyen October 4, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    I find her sexually attractive in a sick way…she can play dead while I bang her etc….

  • Reply Magick Miiror October 5, 2019 at 12:24 am

    When I was a kid I used to sit at the side of dead creatures I'd stumble upon on my adventures outside and cry for a moment at their dismay and then I'd find a box of sorts and bring their bodies home and start 'examining' them. My mom thought I was just playing with dead animals and I can see why she thought that, she'd get so disgusted and scold me and throw them in the trash bin outside but to me, in my head, I was so curious about them, (the deceased animals) I never had such an up close moment with them. I was curious about everything about them, all the while mourning that they weren't alive. This fatuation grew and grew and lead me to be the "weird girl" at school. As an adult now, I'd absolutely love to explore taxidermy and morticianary. Now that I know I was never really that weird everyone made me feel, I just had different interests that others were affraid to explore.

  • Reply vapeitup vapeitup October 5, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    What is it with American women and their stupid, put on croaky voices? SO irritating! Had to laugh when you tried to look coquettish, stood in a mortuary, dressed in a dead-body proof plastic outfit! Hilarious!

  • Reply jay fizzle October 6, 2019 at 2:12 am

    Sexy AF I dont even remember what this video was all about…OK now I remember, dead people got it!

  • Reply Omakelarhs October 6, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    destroyed person

  • Reply angel beauty October 6, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Scare

  • Reply Bianca mcgill October 6, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Jesus said whoever believes me in Shall not perish but have everlasting life 🙏 amen thank you JESUS

  • Reply MARQUEZ VIDEO MACHINE October 9, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    LOL!

  • Reply manda panda October 9, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    She’s a bright person so be around so many dead people and just talking about death. She’s a strong woman

  • Reply Jamilah Castro October 10, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Shes so creepy

  • Reply Katie M October 10, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    What morticians do is amazing. I used to work at the medical examiner and after we've done autopsy, especially if the head was opened up, it's not great to look at. But they're able to cover the sutures so well and make them look like themselves again. It's really wonderful what they do for the families of the deceased to let them see them as they were one more time.

  • Reply Katie M October 10, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    What morticians do is amazing. I used to work at the medical examiner and after we've done autopsy, especially if the head was opened up, it's not great to look at. But they're able to cover the sutures so well and make them look like themselves again. It's really wonderful what they do for the families of the deceased to let them see them as they were one more time.

  • Reply Sabah Mustafa October 14, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Wtf r u stupid?

  • Reply 3D Waffle October 14, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I'm watching this instead of studying for tomorrow.

  • Reply I Used To Be An Octopus October 15, 2019 at 12:59 am

    It's a scummy, greedy, wasteful business to support. Just burn yourself and turn yourself into compost for a tree or some shit.

  • Reply Nash Makado October 15, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Nobody is talking about the coffee mug at 0:58s that says "Embalming Fluid"

  • Reply WVgirl1 through&through October 15, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    I'm the opposite, I don't need to view ones dead body for closure. I like to remember that person the way they was, not like this. But we're all different.

  • Reply daniel morales October 16, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Darknesss no parentsss

  • Reply ronald ferreira October 18, 2019 at 8:49 am

    beautiful gloves

  • Reply Rock Massa October 19, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    The Song "This Is Halloween" Brought Me Here 🤤

  • Reply Shawn Cowles October 20, 2019 at 5:05 am

    Nice video, but the editor seemed like they were on crack a little.

  • Reply Miami Beach October 20, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    “They haven’t talked back YET

  • Reply CTRS October 21, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Idk why people don’t like dead bodies

  • Reply nolonger available October 22, 2019 at 9:36 am

    I dig her style, thanks for taking care of the dearly departed young lady.

  • Reply djohnson2571 October 22, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    What a delightful young lady…..our thoughts and thinking were exact on death and the deceased.

  • Reply Daxter69 October 23, 2019 at 11:22 am

    embalming is very unneccesary

  • Reply domtron88 October 23, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Damn, she kinda thicc. I bet she loves The Smiths, Bauhaus, etc.

  • Reply Melly Minja October 23, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Wtf that board game

  • Reply mikeje305 October 24, 2019 at 4:42 am

    Very creepy work hell to the no

  • Reply Sam L October 24, 2019 at 4:52 am

    I wish the people that did this to my grandparents felt this way. They were both cremated and burned her wedding ring with her. My father was devastated.

  • Reply d c October 24, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    who's here the same thinking that she's like a serial killer with here smile

  • Reply bree tusek October 25, 2019 at 2:10 am

    i love her so much

  • Reply Jesus55 October 25, 2019 at 2:13 am

    I want this job when I grow up

  • Reply Ken Victor October 25, 2019 at 6:44 am

    She looks awesome in white

  • Reply Stacey Dixon October 25, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Why is she so exited a person who dies that is heartbreaking not happy!!!

  • Reply R K October 25, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Something is inadequate here. The character of the film overly enjoys being around the dead, it is disturbing.

  • Reply Jeff Talbot October 25, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    WTF was that? The idea at looking at a dead body is an antiquated way of mourning. Most cultures the body is in the ground by sunset of the day you die. Viewing bodies days after death is a direct consequence of the Civil War where a guy had the idea to embalm fallen soldiers so the family could see their loved one was dead. Then the businessmen saw the possibility of making $$$$$ off of peoples mourning the loss of family or friend. And $15,000 for a casket? No freaking way. Visit your loved ones while they are alive, not standing by a casket saying “she looks good.” No she doesn’t, she’s freaking dead! And draining formaldehyde into ground water at 800,000 gallons per year is an environmental disaster. The sealed caskets don’t last for eternity, maybe 20 years.

  • Reply Jacob the Embalmer October 26, 2019 at 4:51 am

    That woman on the slab doesn't look dead. Surely they didn't hire a fucking actor for it?

  • Reply peach.vanillaa October 26, 2019 at 10:51 am

    I love how she show us that her job is interesting 😘 💜💙❤️🧡💛💚

    Most of people were scared to dealing with corpes..Do you understand wut I mean ..

  • Reply Melissa Carvalho October 27, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Eu acho que prefiro ser cremada.E todo o ser vivo volta para Narureza em forma de pó

  • Reply Wayne The Wolf October 27, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    I want to be cremated and my ashes used to grow a pot plant then I want my family to smoke me 🖖🏼

  • Reply Diesel Wolf October 27, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Most funeral homes are crooks, the get you for all they can at your weakest moments, which isn't right. In fact most prefer you to be buried vs cremated, because being buried cost more, which is more money in their pockets. Just my opinion.

  • Reply ferretsnax October 27, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    @1:49 ???

  • Reply Janet Othen October 27, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    I wish people would get why i have to see a person after they die. It not only helps my anxieties, it also helps me say goodbye. I cant say goodbye to a box, i need to see their face, hold their hand and say goodbye. Not everyone can, my hubby only saw his dad once and coz i asked him too (i knew hed regret it if he didnt, as we were with him when he died and it was a violent, bloody, scary event, drowning in his own blood from lung cancer, he needed to see dad at peace, all cleaned up and in the suit he bought for our wedding, and for his funeral) i went everyday before the funeral including the last day where hed gone bad as wasnt embalmed (no time was in hospital freezer for 2weeks!). He wanted funeral home across the road as was closest to home. So id go hold his hand and tell him how well the baby slept and fed (he got 17days with her before he passed) and sit for 20mins and then go shopping. Became routine. And then he came home in a nice box and is on the windowsill where he wanted to be, over looking the city and river. It needs to be less taboo visiting dead people.

  • Reply Ty4rm October 27, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Thanos: snaps

  • Reply Alberto L Alicea October 28, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Psycho 😂

  • Reply Lil Debbie October 31, 2019 at 6:03 am

    Folks, I used to work at a funeral home. Young people may not realize how much funerals are now; roughly $7-15k.

    I’m glad I worked there because I learned that you can be cremated for $500-2k these days.

    So I suggest that you go ahead and purchase a cremation for yourself if they offer it, because the price will continue to go up.

  • Reply Mj Summer October 31, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Real life abby

  • Reply Roberta Smith November 1, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    You’ve disrespectively tried to make death sexy 😡

  • Reply Nathaniel Hayslett November 1, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    She promotes embalming so much. But she does not reveal that embalming is nowhere near necessary and shes a saleswoman. I worked in this industry. I NEVER told people embalming was necessary. And its a waste of time and resources

  • Reply WHERE'S MY WIG November 2, 2019 at 6:44 am

    She kind of creeps me out but I'm also fascinated by her aesthetic.

  • Reply Big D November 3, 2019 at 4:16 am

    What does being a female mortician have to do with anything?

  • Reply Oana Calintir November 3, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    I have no problem with this woman , maybe she just love her job but this is too much for someone to love so much the coffins and to be underground with dead people I think for she, embalming dead bodies has become an obsession💀😱

  • Reply patriot 75 November 3, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Miranda is so hot

  • Reply SCLARK2112 November 4, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Perhaps I'm in the minority or just plain nuts, but I really don't wanna see the body. I'd prefer my most recent memory of the person to be of them while still ALIVE, not dead. I've never understood why "the viewing" is so important, unless you happen to be an undertaker, getting paid a small fortune to make the body look presentable….

  • Reply Swisscheeseoo7 November 4, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    3:34 dexter moment

  • Reply Agent Office November 5, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    She's strong

  • Reply J- 10K November 6, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Is it just me or isn’t this woman just sexy 🥴😅

  • Reply Hazey Eyed November 7, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Takes guts to do this for real

  • Reply Kishinuma Ayumi November 7, 2019 at 3:40 am

    I want her to collab with Ask A Mortician on youtube please

  • Reply Kishinuma Ayumi November 7, 2019 at 3:43 am

    I wanna know if they ever got the consent of the woman on the bed before she left to film her

  • Reply John Burton November 7, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    She looks like she belongs in the 1950's or 60's …. lol but in a good way 😉

  • Reply Tahera Khawari November 7, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    You are really so scary , like horror movie 😭😬

  • Reply Jennifer S November 8, 2019 at 9:18 am

    thank you for your video. ive wanted to do the makeup or something like that on the decesed since I was like 7…now many yrs later im looking into possibly working in a hospital morgue IF I can. first step of course is the school. which in NC there is very limited places. sadly I cant afford to move and live in Fayettville for 4 yrs where one of the mortician science degrees are, s im going to attempt to ask how to intern/do all classes aka lab work 4 hrs away…any tips?

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