View Full Version : Open casket funeral for a man with a neck wound

08-25-2018, 08:04 PM
So in one of my stories, a character is killed with a stab wound to his neck. I would really like his funeral to be open casket, and I was wondering how they would cover up the wound? Makeup can only cover so much when there is a deep scar there. I know in many cases, funeral homes use clothing with a high neck to cover any neck wounds, but I know that a suit would probably not come up high enough. Would you be able to see evidence of the wound?

08-25-2018, 08:59 PM
There's not a scar -- person was dead, and depth is meaningless. You just need to make the edges fit.

That's pretty easy to cover. Glue, makeup, clothing, artfully arranged casket satin...

08-26-2018, 12:24 AM
Depending on how big and high up the neck the wound was, a high collar might cover it, if not, I'm thinking that a scarf or ascot-type tie, in a colour to match the suit or the shirt would do the job.

If the edges of the wound were crazy-glued together neatly, it might not even need that much camouflage, just make-up.

08-26-2018, 12:24 AM
Yeah, scar wasn't the right word. But thank you!

08-26-2018, 03:55 AM
"Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain (http://hhh.gavilan.edu/ecrook/1A.fall.2005/mitford.html)" has a good description of what funeral home employees do in cases of wounds/dismemberment/damage/etc. "The American Way of Death" was first published in 1963, so I'm sure that things have become even more advanced in what people are able to do these days.

The embalmer, having allowed an appropriate interval of elapse, returns to the attack, but now he brings into play the skill and equipment of sculptor and cosmetician. Is a hand missing? Casting one in plaster of Paris is a simple matter. "For replacement purposes, only a cast of the back of the hand is necessary; this is within the ability of the average operator and is quite adequate." If a lip or two, a nose or an ear should be missing, the embalmer has at hand a variety of restorative waxes with which to model replacements. Pores and skin texture are simulated by stippling with a little brush, and over this cosmetics are laid on. Head off? Decapitation cases are rather routinely handled. Ragged edges are trimmed, and head joined to torso with a series of splints, wires and sutures. It is a good idea to have a little something at the neck - a scarf or high collar - when time for viewing comes. Swollen mouth? Cut out tissue as needed from inside the lips. If too much is removed, the surface contour can easily be restored by padding with cotton. Swollen necks and cheeks are reduced by removing tissue through vertical incisions made down each side of the neck. "When the deceased is casketed, the pillow will hide the suture incisions . . . as an extra precaution against leakage, the suture may be painted with liquid sealer."

08-26-2018, 04:42 AM
They use flesh-colored wax to fill in defects then put makeup on top. The description above is more thorough, of course.

I found that out inadvertently when I touched my dead boyfriend's body in his coffin. Not the best experience a 16 yr old can have.