“I’ve always wondered where Mulattos come from.”
I was sure I’d misheard him.
“I’m sorry, what?”
He just kept going.
“You know, my great grandfather probably hung yours.”
I never knew what to do in situations like these.
I knew I couldn’t respond exactly how I wanted to, but at the same time, I wasn’t about to spend the next few hours being disrespected.
I needed a break. So I stepped out.
This guy was the worst. That much was clear. But the fact remained, that he had lost someone.
It isn’t easy being in the funeral industry. More often than not, you’re expected to put your personal feelings on the back-burner and do the job.
This time, I couldn’t.
“Sir, you’ve lost your mom, and you’re hurting. I get it, I really do. However, what you’re NOT going to do is continue to make racially inappropriate statements about my ethnicity. At the end of the day, regardless of religion, race, or gender, when you’re on the embalming table, the blood still drains red. I’m here to help you get through this as best as I can, but in order to do that, you’re going to have to dial back the bigotry and deal out a bit of respect, K?”
For the first time since he’d walked in, he was silent.
“I’d like another funeral director please.” He finally said.
“That’s fine with me.” I replied. “Jeffrey will be in on Tuesday. You can meet with him then.”
“I have to wait FIVE DAYS to meet with someone else?”
He opened his mouth, then closed it again.
Finally after a few contemplative moments he said, “I’d like to continue please.”
I wish I could say that I turned him away, that I stood my ground and made him wait until Tuesday….but I didn’t.
As terrible as he was, as much as he’d hurt me with his words, I knew he was broken.
Once he was gone, I went into the preparation room to give the signed disclosures to the embalmer. The woman was already prepped and on the table.
After taking a quick moment to look over the forms, the embalmer made the first incision and her blood began to drain.
It was red.