Features Jan 7, 2015 at 4:00 am

My Job Was to Pick Up the Bodies


Thank you Trevor, this was freaking fabulous. Best thing in the Stranger in a while.
Nice job. I grew up in the business. My grandparents were morticians in NYC. The funeral parlor is still there and run by my cousin.

70% the stories that have survived over the years are about very obese people. Largely because they pose such challenges in removing the body; especially in New York City. Removing the body through a window that had been removed (frame, bricks, etc) was not uncommon. Even cranes had been used apparently.

We're Irish so the rest of the stories were largely poetically tragic, sometimes uplifting and, on occasion, about trying to collect on the fee...
Really great piece.

Great article. Thanks for writing it. A very interesting read.
what a great piece, thank you for sharing.
This was the best writing in The Stranger in recent memory. Also, it's good to know that dead body picker uppers are drug free...
Wonderful piece, beautifully written. If you wrote a book about this (or anything else, frankly), I'd be first in line to buy a copy. Think about it.
Lovely piece of writing.
This was beautiful. I had a lot of similar feelings when I was a euthanasia technician for the Humane Society, a position I had for more than a decade. I especially liked the assertion that "The lifers are born into death." I only left my job when, in my mid 30-s, I had a child and became a stay at home mom. Now that my son is in college, I would do that job again in a heartbeat.
I agree, this is a great piece of writing. Love the way it concludes.
Currently reading Caitlin Doughty's new book 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes'. She also produces the youtube series Ask A Mortician, as seen regularly on Slog. Highly recommend it! http://www.npr.org/2014/09/13/348223758/…
My eyes have been opened. Thank you so much.
This was great. It's rare that I get to the end of an article and think, "Aw, that's it? But you were just hitting your stride."
@13 I agree - I loved the story, but I was really expecting about 3 more pages of it :)
Great article. I agree, I was hoping there were 2 or 3 more pages.
i read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes as @11 mentioned - GREAT book - while reading i could practically hear her voice telling the stories and they were just as entertaining as her videos. if you liked this piece walk...no...RUN to your local library (i read an SPL copy - the queue was large but they seem to have a good number of copies so i didn't wait very long) or indie bookstore to get a copy!
Great story! Not too shabby for a first time out, eh? Look forward to reading you again. Liked it so much, I registered to comment.
I'm a journalism major at WWU. I needed inspiration for a personal non-fiction story for my senior level feature writing class and this gave me a perfect guideline to figure out how I wanted to structure my piece. You rock, great read.
Fabulous writing, Trevor. Wowzas!

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