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Two white daisies in the grass
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Who we are series

This series is meant to highlight beautiful funeral directors. Too many times we see and hear the media focus on the horrible things that happen in the funeral industry. I am here to prove that there is more good in our industry than bad. Every story in this series is written by the directors themselves. Dennis K. Wesley Dennis is […]

Icy rose on the corner of a grave
Who we are Speaking of 0

Who we are series

This series is meant to highlight beautiful funeral directors. Too many times we see and hear the media focus on the horrible things that happen in the funeral industry. I am here to prove that there is more good in our industry than bad. Every story in this series is written by the directors themselves. Bonnie Dalberg Ansley Bonnie began […]

casket with empty pews in a chapel
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Who we are speaking of

The media rarely paints a pretty picture of the funeral industry. One bad story very truly affects how the public sees the entire bunch. I love giving the world a small glimpse of the wonderful things we do and how we love to do them. We are not money hungry. Death does not bring us riches and fame. We treasure […]

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Speaking of the dead

In most Western and Westernized cultures, the reality of death is a subject that we avoid because it makes us uncomfortable.  Even participants in religions that celebrate death as a release to a paradisiacal realm will avoid talking about or facing the death experience, unless it’s through the lens of their religious beliefs.  The rest of us tap dance around the subject, enjoying death-related fiction involving vampires, zombies, and serial killers, while we recoil in mind-numbing horror at the thought of being in the same room with a corpse.  Chelsea Tolman is a funeral director, mortician, and embalmer with over 15 years of experience.  In her book, “Speaking of the dead”, she attempts to provide the balm that allows us […]

Book cover of Speaking of the dead
experiences 0

Speaking of the dead

Have you ever been so tied up in an emotion you can’t explain that you are close to tears, want to run as fast as you can all while feeling like a nap is a good idea? Well that is me today! The time has come for me to introduce my finished book “Speaking of the dead”. Can you believe […]

Chelsea Tolman in Salt Lake City Cemetery
experiences 0

Interviewing a mortician

This week I am sharing a couple of cool interviews I had the honor of being a part of for Halloween. Great conversation I had with Chris and Kristina Holifield from I Am Salt Lake Podcast. If you aren’t already you should subscribe to their podcast, these are two super cool people and their podcasts are always interesting. Episode 353 […]

dark hallway with ghost
experiences 5

I ain’t afraid of no ghost!

In all the years of being a mortician, I have never seen a ghost, at least I don’t think I have. The subject of ghosts can be tricky. Did I see or hear something? Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Far too often people think that ghosts crowd around the mortuary and set up residency. I believe that if there […]

plastic skeleton posed on a log in front of cemetery
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When you wake the dead

Just a short story this week as I am still working on the final pieces to publish my book. And good news, it should be available for pre-order in December!! Stay tuned and thank you for your patience.  Most people have a routine when first coming to work in the morning. Start the coffee maker, transfer the phones, fire up […]

Expletive symbols in a bubble
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During my morning ritual of walking into the embalming room familiarizing myself with the dead who had been brought in during the night, I was hit by a feeling of what I can only describe as trouble. It was a palpable feeling, like something drifting through the air and it felt like it was coming from a man lying on […]

couple holding hands
experiences 4


I was informed of a husband and wife who were killed together in a car accident and our mortuary got the call. The couple had gone for a drive. Maybe they were going to the grocery store, maybe to see a movie, I didn’t know the details. What I did know was that somehow, they didn’t or couldn’t stop their […]

Body on a table, feet with toe tag
experiences 0

Can I get a second opinion?

Before I tell this story, I want you all to know that the majority of people I meet take way too much stock in Hollywood’s versions of dead bodies and what they do, or do not do, in the days before they are buried or cremated. I have had people tell me about the bodies that sit straight up, “ […]

Woman holding flowers in front of an urn
Self 0

Doo Wop

“Doo Wop” High school. A place of judgement, cliques, and where the popular mix with the unpopular. All must all interact together though, living and dreaming in the same space. It is the stage set for the best and the worst experiences in life. He was a jock, a football player and he wanted to be my boyfriend. He was […]

Woman standing at a casket with flowers in her hand
experiences 2

The widow

Her hands were clutched in front of her making small nervous motions as she walked. She was slightly bent from age like something heavy weighed upon her shoulders and her feet shuffled along the carpet. Her head was down, her eyes focused on the floor and she never looked up as she walked seeming to be nervous of what was […]

Train crossing at night
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Train wreck

We ended up getting several calls that week from people requesting funeral services. More calls than usual. I had just started working at this funeral home and the director who hired me decided this was the week he was going on vacation. Leaving me as the only funeral director available. We had some staff that would work part-time at night […]

Words today is the day with blue background and sunshine rings
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The office is buzzing. All of us worker bees are busy getting ready for the funeral about to happen. One black suit rushes to the video recorder and makes sure it’s pointed in the right direction and turned on. Another black suit rushes around the fleet of cars with a damp towel scrubbing the water spots left from the drive-through […]

conference table, with black chairs
Self 0

I am the audience

I am sitting at a conference table of dark glossy wood, I am straight-backed, I have my hands clasped in front of me and my legs are crossed. I am patiently waiting, watching, listening. Around the table in other chairs and sitting on couches are family members who have just experienced the death of someone they love. At this moment, […]

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