In this post of “Who We Are Speaking Of” series I talked to Monica Torres who has been in the funeral industry since 2008. She is the founder/owner of NXT Generation Mortuary Support, LLC is a CFSP and is licensed as an AZ Funeral Director, Embalmer, Desairologist and Reconstructive Specialist. Her passion for enhancing body preparation techniques has taken the industry by storm with no signs of stopping.
Being a young female and Latina, her entrepreneurship in the funeral industry has certainly caught all of our attention. With a background in cosmetology she has always known she wanted to be a business owner. With the support and encouragement of her mother she successfully completed the courses for a mortuary science degree and didn’t stop there.
During her studies she realized that there were limitations to prep work in the embalming room, inciting her to take the instructor course in Hollywood with Dinair. She then developed an airbrush makeup course that was applicable in the prep room (funeral industry lingo for the back rooms where bodies are embalmed and prepared).
Passion and compassion has been the framework for the empire she is creating in the funeral industry, beginning with the death of her father when was she was just 9 months old.
After a terrible mining accident her father sustained massive crushing head wounds and severe trauma that included his entire body, a scenario that in most cases would make the body unviewable. However, the embalmer in her town was able to restore her father well enough for the family, and the town, to see him again allowing them to have a final goodbye. Over the years, she heard over and over stories from her family about how healing it was to be able to see her dad one last time and this sparked a flame in the little girl who lost her father to become the trailblazer in the funeral industry that she has become today. Monica has dedicated her career to the value of open casket viewing, after experiencing its value first hand. She has taken advanced courses in embalming and mixed with her cosmetology background she now teaches other embalmers these techniques on how to reconstruct, restore and repair severe trauma, giving grieving families a lasting and acceptable memory of their loved one.
She has been featured in Funeral Business Advisor, Noomis, The Independent, the ACCFA, Funeral Nation and most notably American Funeral Director along with many others. You can find these articles and more at https://www.nxtgenmortuarysupport.com/. You can also follow her on twitter at #EmbalmingTipOfTheWeek @ColdHandsHosts
There have been so many families that have impacted my career, but the families I have served that have suffered the loss of an infant or unborn have sculpted my career the most. These families are often underrepresented and underserved. Baby Angel came into my care 2.5 years ago. Baby Angel was stillborn at full term. His mother gave birth to him in the back bedroom of her parents house during her fathers 56th birthday party. Over 30 family members witnessed the lifeless birth of Baby Angel. In their grief the family did what their Mexican culture called for. Home births are still not uncommon in Mexico and Baby Angel was bathed and dressed and passed around to family members who all wanted the opportunity to say hello and goodbye to this eagerly anticipated gift. After 2 days of bathing, changing outfits for family photo opps and after all family and friends had gotten the opportunity to see him the family finally brought him to my funeral home. I received baby Angel in an advanced decomposed state. During the arrangements I offered his parents one last opportunity to see him. I offered them the gift of embalming and the compassionate care of my skilled hands. My advanced training allowed me to restore baby Angel to a dignified and viewable state. So overjoyed with the presentation of the embalming were they that Baby Angels parents asked to please give them more time with him and requested a home viewing and proper funeral for all their family and neighbors. Without hesitation they asked to take him home in the plush baby blue casket they picked out for him. After this experience I realized the impact I had on this family and realized that infant embalming was not a subject ever taught in any embalming course I had attended. In loving memory of Baby Angel and the value his viewing brought to his family I was inspired to create my new course.
“Embalming the Infant Death; Progressive Embalming techniques for infants and the unborn”
With legal permission of the families I have documented over 20 cases of infant death embalmings and look forward to sharing my new course and with other professional embalmers in 2019. The course not only focuses on technical embalming treatments but also touches on modern trends in the birthing industry and the relevancy of infant services in modern day funeral home operations. Other areas of focus are the need for infant and unborn services and how to list these services on the GPL in a way that is sensitive to the needs of families who have suffered the loss of an infant.
I would like for people to know that I am actively working on what the future of embalming is going to look like. The time for change is here and I’m very excited to be part of that change. I believe in the healing power of open casket viewing and the art and science of embalming and alternative methods of viewing of the deceased. My company NXT Generation Mortuary Support was founded on the concrete mission to support funeral homes and professionals while offering useful and relevant information to consumers. I hope to be able to grow my business by partnering with other like-minded companies that also offer services and products that support our beloved industry and the families that need us.
To reach Monica about how her courses please visit her websites contact page by clinking the link here.
Have you ordered you copy of “Speaking of the dead”?
“Speaking of the Dead is a well written, entertaining easy read. The subject matter is not what you find in any other book (that I have read). Chelsea writes so that we can understand her experiences and makes you laugh and cry. Great read!!”
“Very good read. This puts a different, more human touch to the profession. We all need to understand the process since we cannot run from death but for so long. Chelsea did great with this book and I look forward to more by this author.”