National Museum of Funeral History

Good morrow, waking souls!

Death. It’s inevitable.

There is your cheery fortune cookie for the morning, how did you like it?

This reminds me of one of my favorite stories from high school.

I attended a very small, Christian school out in the middle of the country. There was even a corn field out back of the school that… to this day, I have no idea who it belonged to. Not important, moving on… they had a fairly strict dress code, especially about things written on shirts.

One day, I came to school wearing my new shirt from Hot Topic (this was the 90s, therefore pre-Hello Kitty and hipster paraphernalia took them over). It was a black, button-down shirt with an outline of the dead body as a crest on the front and in big, bold, white letters on the back was the word “Coroner.”

The principal stopped me in the hallway and asked if I thought my shirt was appropriate for school. “Why not? It’s long enough, it’s not too tight, it’s not showing any part of me that it’s not suppose to show…” I said. “What about what it says?” he asked. I broke into a spiel about how a coroner is an occupation and not an offensive term, how it was actually an honorable profession and necessary for the sanitation of the world, and how did he know I was not aspiring to become one, therefore how DARE he judge me for my choice career.

It turned out there was a board meeting that week in which the matter came up. I was allowed to wear the shirt after that. If only my campaign to change the school mascot to a dragon had gone over as well…

I clearly did not become a coroner, but I did visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FUNERAL HISTORY– 415 Barren Springs Dr., Houston, TX.

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Here at the museum, you can read about early embalming practices, see a vast array of hearses, and much more.

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The hearse used in the funeral for Princess Grace of Monaco (known to many of us as Grace Kelly)
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The celebrity section
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Display depicting a Victorian era wake
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A HUGE section about funerals for Popes (it’s an intense process!)

Fun fact: the current Pope Mobile is a 2007 Mercedes Benz G500.

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Fantasy coffins made by Kane Quaye and used by traditional people of Ghana
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1916 Packard Funeral Bus (the only surviving vehicle of its kind)
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Coffin made for three people (go to the museum to find out why it even exists)

They even offer clipboards with a scavenger hunt quiz on it that, if you fill it out and get 90% of the questions correct, you’ll get 10% off of a gift shop souvenir. I started one, but then realized that I was so concentrated on the scavenger hunt that I wasn’t actually taking in the museum itself so I stopped. It’s a way to get the kids and buzzkills interested in a museum.

As for me, I think I like museums too much to divide my attention. Is that weird? Don’t answer that.

You can also see the money coffin, information on the Unknown Soldier’s tomb, presidential funerals, Dia de los Muertos, and more. Go and enlighten yourself on a notoriously dark topic.

Put the FUN back in FUNERAL!

… too obvious? That was too obvious, wasn’t it?

Until next time, dahlings…

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