Dead People Aren’t Scary…

I used to press on the hands of the dead people


Are you afraid of dead people? If you are, you’re definitely not alone. People have very strong reactions to seeing someone dead. But if you saw them all the time, do you think you would feel the same way? Probably not. I guess the same way a proctologist feels about seeing a different anus every day…they must all seem the same after awhile.  I also think that would be a lot worse than looking at dead bodies. I’m not sure if that was the best analogy, but what kind of doctor would choose to specialize in anuses? That’s way sicker than a mortician.

Through the years a lot of people have asked me if I was scared growing up in a funeral home and the answer is “no.” It wasn’t scary for any of us because we never knew life without dead people. Isn’t that ironic? I bet Alanis Morissette would think so. I always looked at the dead people like they were temporary guests in our house and I guess they were, plus my dad always treated them with  respect so we followed suit.  They were like guests that I never met before but was completely comfortable around, and they seemed to enjoy my entertainment. I kinda liked them in a way because I knew nothing about them so there was no way to judge them. I didn’t know anything about their life, whether they were a nice or mean or crazy person, they were just someone who died and ended up in our basement. Occasionally my dad might tell us something interesting about their life, which always made me a little more curious.

I was having a conversation about the unpredictability of life the other day with a friend. We were going to watch the Eagles game over another friend’s place and we texted him to see when we should come over. He texted back that he was in Texas because his mom died suddenly. So sad.

I think my first realization about how unpredictable life is was when I was seven. A little girl named Robin, also age seven, died and we had the funeral. I don’t remember what she died from but I remember looking at her in the casket and realizing that it could be me. I think something about that realization gave me some sort of peace about death because whenever it’s your time, there’s nothing you can do about it. I think of all the dead people I’ve seen, and although most of them were old, people of every age die and under very different circumstances. That’s why people shouldn’t worry about death; you have absolutely no control over it. It can happen in an instant, and since you don’t know when it’s coming you should party your ass off and have fun NOW! Don’t you agree? I hope you have a drink in your hand right now.

And if there is a heaven, which I hope there is, I think it involves an eternal buffet 🙂  I don’t fear death at all, just the circumstances that could possibly lead to it like falling off a speeding rollercoaster and plunging to my death…or getting eaten by a shark.  But once I’m dead, it’s all good, because if you think about it, our bodies are how we experience everything in this life, so without our bodies, it will be a completely different level of consciousness and it won’t matter anyway.  I’m deep, aren’t I?

On a serious note, I think the idea of heaven and hell was created by humans to justify good and bad behavior. For example, people need to believe that someone like Hitler or Osama Bin Laden will be punished and burn for all of eternity.

I'm burning in hell....

I don’t give a shit what happens to them after they die, as long as they’re dead now, who cares what happens later?  I’m more interested in the possibility of a heavenly buffet, a celestial buffet if you will (and I know you will.)

One more thing….people who are alive are MUCH scarier than dead people. They’re the ones you have to look out for.  I believe my Hitler and Bin Laden reference proves that.

Hope your Wednesday is WILD!

so am I....

About Death To Hollywood

My name is Celeste Donohue and I am a writer/comedian who started this blog to tell stories about my life growing up in a funeral home and my adult life which I have spent in Hollywood, California – hence the name, “Death To Hollywood”. Hopefully, you like to read those kinds of stories. If not, go read something serious and boring.....
This entry was posted in death, family, funeral home, funerals and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Dead People Aren’t Scary…

  1. klpeach323 says:

    a celestial buffet of sandwiches and pizza, what could be better?

  2. mdonohue says:

    Celeste,I really like your thinking,and, how you have evolved in questioning everything.Good stuff.Love,Mom

  3. Barskii says:

    Been there & done that – – NO BUFFET !!!

  4. Josephine says:

    I worked in a hospital and the room downstairs where I spent most of my time was down the hall from the morgue. There was one attendant who liked to howl like a werewolf when he was wheeling a new body to the morgue. You could hear him out in the hall. To top it all off I worked the graveyard shift.

    I always thought it was still a bit creepy but I know what you mean because even if I was downstairs by myself, I still found it less creepy than having to walk over to the ER where all the really messy stuff was going on.

    I don’t have a drink, but I am eating chocolate. That’s pretty good too. And I would so believe in an afterlife if it was a buffet. 🙂

  5. Julie Herring (Joe) says:

    You have convinced me to go get a drink right now! Life is too short and getting shorter!

  6. Kris says:

    I feel the same way about death! I had a similar experience at 16 with 2 twins that died that were both 16….they were in our home and i saw them and just stAred at them……scary to realize your own mortality so early….. Made me appreciate my life every day oh, and to drink and have a buffet every day too:)

  7. Mr Maryknoll says:

    Excellent stuff, C.

  8. John Donohue says:

    Hahaha!!! Life & Death, Ying & Yang, Good & Bad, Heaven & Hell, Neat & On the Rocks!! Great blog!! I’ve seen everyone dead, young & old. We all die, how many of us are actually living? Love your life, and live YOUR life!!!

  9. The elder sister says:

    Yes, so true, how many are truly living life?…….
    Dead people aren’t scary, but their ghosts are!!!! Why did we always run our fastest from the basement ( where the only pencil sharpened was! ). We all did it!

  10. Amber says:

    You do know that an eternal buffet would be completely pointless, right? Our bodies don’t go to heaven, if there ever is one, it would just be our souls, and souls do not need food as their is no digestion.

    • You do know that there is no such thing as a pointless buffet, right? If there is a heaven, it will be whatever I want it to be and an eternal buffet will definitely be included. Let’s just remember that NOBODY really knows what happens when we die so a buffet is definitely possible 🙂

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