They're to Young: Importance of Embalming and Grief of the Family

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They're To Young: Importance of Embalming and Grief of the Family

Talia Johnson
Professor Bresnaham
FS 232 1E
April 30, 2012
No matter the time or place death is not something that any one is willing to accept or overcome. The problem is though, that death is inevitable and no matter what the age may be, at the time of the death the pain ends for the decedent and begins for the family. The grieving process isn't easy for any one; everyone grieves differently. When a death occurs it puts in perspective that all life ends. Now deciding when exactly it will end isn't something we control. So exactly what age is appropriate to consider dying young? It is a sad truth that most people expect for the elderly to die, but a newborn, infant or child should not be expected.
When an infant or child dies it is considered a devastating tragedy. At the idea that they die between any of these stages are considered to have been wrong because they were just beginning their life. Whatever the age of the deceased is, a family should have a funeral or memorial service. Many family members do not seem to realize how important a funeral is, allowing them for the last time to say their goodbyes and get some closure. With many deaths beginning as early as when a child is born, you want to be able to come to terms with the death.
Just as families must cope, the young age of these deaths also has effects on the embalmers. Making sure that they achieve proper preservation, using techniques based on the conditions, is just as important. The goodbye will be the thing that the family needs to come to terms with the death and the embalmer will play his part and making sure they can have that.
"Approximately 37,000 children die within the first 28 days of life. Another way to look at this reality is to say that one neonatal death occurs every 15 minutes somewhere in this country." ( Keeping this in mind many embalmers have to be prepared for cases like this both psychologically and technically. Embalming infants and children can become very difficult and challenging at times because some embalmers may not have mentally prepared their self for such cases. For some it may touch to close to home making them think about the birth of a new baby or the death of their very own. However, before any child can be properly viewed at a funeral home they need to be properly embalmed and preserved. Many people may immediately think of an infant to be the first stages of a child, however there are also premature infants. "Babies born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy are called premature. In the United States, about 12.8 percent of babies (more than half a million a year) are born prematurely (1). The rate of premature birth has increased by 36 percent since the early 1980s." ( Embalming an infant or child is already a task for an embalmer because of their size, so only more difficulty arises when they are born prematurely. With their little size and frame brings on different problems. When dealing with these cases the embalmer needs to be aware of the proper techniques for autopsied and unautopsied infant and children bodies. They also need to be equipped with the right tools in order to accommodate the tiny arteries and veins.

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