Episode 116- Morticians (and Podcasters) Minda & Kristi

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s officially acceptable to listen to some Christmas music. Note that we said some. For instance, while there are those who could listen to a very merry Mannheim Steamroller Christmas on repeat, that’s not our cup of tea. Then again, we don’t want to shame the people who start listening to Lite FM Christmas stations in October. This podcast is for all the freaks, and that includes holiday music freaks. We draw the line at people who watch every Christmas movie on Hallmark, though. All those movies preempt regularly scheduled programming, which means no late-night Golden Girls episodes from mid October through mid January. And one of our willing producers gets really pissy about it. (Yes, she knows she can watch the girls on Hulu. That’s not the point!)

Speaking of music programming, Heidi recently joined a cult that has some interesting music choices for yoga classes. The class title gave fair warning, so the cult is not to blame. But it does have us thinking about which music soundtracks are appropriate for which activities. Chopping wood to Cher and Peter Cetera’s “After All” might not give you the momentum that AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” would. Or while “Fantasy” by Earth, Wind, and Fire is perfect for roller skating, Radiohead’s “Creep” might not work. No, we take that back… you could do a beautiful routine to that song with the right lighting and costumes. It would be gorgeous.

We’ve thought about soundtracks to fit pretty much every activity, but our guests for this week’s episode raised the bar. We spoke with Minda and Kristi, who both happen to be morticians as well as podcasters for the popular show, Dead Girls Talking. They reminded us that no matter the job, a good soundtrack at work keeps you motivated and focused. Of course, we chatted with them about a lot of other topics. When you have the opportunity to speak with morticians, there is an endless supply of questions to be asked.

Minda and Kristi both shared with us how they became morticians and what types of people are drawn to that profession. Beyond that, they described all of the unique things they encountered while in school. Minda and Kristi’s stories made it pretty clear why not everyone who enters the programs leaves. (We should rephrase that to sound less ominous — not everyone who enters the program graduates. They drop out. Often because they had no idea how much crap they would have to deal with. And not the figurative kind.)

The ladies filled us in on all sorts of little-known facts about what being a mortician and working with decedents involves. “Decedents” is just one of the many bits of mortician terminology they explained to us. As you can probably guess, there is far more that goes into tending to a body than most people realize, including what it’s being prepared for, i.e. burial, cremation, science, or school. Kristi and Minda also explained that there are a variety of factors involved in how long it takes to work on a decedent. It’s unexpected and fascinating.

The ladies also emphasized how important it is that morticians keep sensitivity and dignity in mind while working on decedents. While in school they were told to work as if the person’s relatives were in the room with them. In general, that’s not a bad way to treat people. Along those lines, we asked them if what they deal with at work follows them home. They had some very thoughtful replies.

If you’d like to learn more about Minda, Kristi, and their adventures in being morticians, check out their podcast, Dead Girls Talking. You can also find them on Facebook. In the meantime, be sure to listen to this week’s episode to learn more about the varied aspects of their jobs. Plus, glean some very helpful advice from Kristi and Minda about how best to prepare your loved ones, and yourself, for your inevitable passing — because unless you have access to some extraordinary cryogenic technology, we’re all going to go at some point. By the way, there’s an episode of The Golden Girls where Rose dreams that they all had their heads cryogenically frozen. But you probably wouldn’t know that because Hallmark isn’t airing episodes right now. And you know why.


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