Living next door to a funeral home

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image from:

Well I don’t actually live right next door. The mortuary is one parking lot and one old-house-turned-doctor’s office over from my house.

Usually the mortuary staff are very discreet. But the other day when I was pulling out of the back alley (where I park), I saw them unloading a body from a big truck.

(not the actual event - this is a historic photo from New York in 1912)

(not the actual event – this is a historic photo from New York in 1912 – from: wikimedia commons)

I tried not to look, but my breath caught in my throat and I stopped babbling to my three year old in mid-sentence. They were wheeling “it” in on a gurney and the body appeared to be covered with a clear plastic bag. It also appeared to have clothes on. Perhaps that is my overactive imagination filling in the details . They were very quick about pushing the gurney into the back doors of the mortuary, but I had seen what I had dreaded seeing for the 2.5 years I have lived here: a dead body

Prior to buying our house (years ago in fact) when my seven year old son was but a wee baby, Lupe and I were walking by this house and we were remarking how neat it would be to own that charming old brick house with the gingerbread in the eaves.

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Lupe’s only reservation at the time was: “Yeah but it’s so close to a mortuary – wouldn’t that bother you?”

That sordid fact did not even occur to me in the fall of 2010 when we were in a mad dash to find and close on a house in less than 3 weeks time. The house had popped up for sale at the eleventh house. It was adorable and the neighborhood seemed decent. So we bought it.

Over the last couple of years, the mortuary has been a quiet, sombre neighbor with only the occasional funeral procession of cars blocking access to the alleyway. I figure it is small price I have to pay for having such a respectful neighbor. And ALL of their patrons are extremely subdued and silent.

(historic funeral - 1936, Brisbane)

(historic funeral – 1936, Brisbane – from: wikimedia commons)

Still, it is an almost daily reminder of that pesky mortality thing and the fragility of life and all that stuff – often jolting me out of whatever la-la land I am inhabiting at the time.

The body sighting last week was probably the worst of those jolts and something I don’t care to see again. I am just thankful that my 7-year old son was not in the car with me. (That would mean mom would have lots of s’plaining to do!)

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So is living beside a funeral home so terrible?

Not all at. It’s rather peaceful.

But don’t get me going on living near a downtown bar.

Hell, give me dead bodies any day over the drunken idiots who come slobering down the alleyway!


  • Nick Kirby says:

    Well , the dead cant hurt you.The ones who are in heaven don’t want to come back and the ones who are in the other place cant come back.:) Looks like a peaceful neighborhood.I would take this over living next to a bar any day of the week.:)

  • Sue says:

    Our little town’s long-time (just looks like a house ) funeral home went up for sale with the owner retiring. I shuttered as to who could or would buy it as I saw the for sale sign there on my daily pass making my way around town. It became a dog grooming place. I thought for a long time I would not go there with my little dog for grooming because of its past with not wanting to pass through the door frame of what was. I now take our dog there for grooming because it is so close and this has changed my whole perspective as to what the house is now.

    • housecrazy says:

      this is a really morbid thought Sue… but all the tables and wash basins would already be set up from when it was a funeral home. Those poor little doggies stuck in the groomer’s noose!

  • carrie says:

    It would creep me out to live anywhere near or mortuary, or an incinerator for that matter. To many souls floating around!

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