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A mortician says working with dead people is therapeutic.
Lauren Taylor, from Minnesota in the US, is well acquainted with seeing the deceased on a daily basis.
The 30-year-old grew up around the dead as her father Pat Taylor ran a funeral home – and even lent a hand in the mortuary in her teenage years.
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With death being a normal part of her childhood, Lauren enrolled into Mortuary School and later graduated in 2015.
Despite her younger years being surrounded by cold bodies, she always felt that her calling was working with those with beating hearts.
But it wasn't until a family tragedy struck that altered Lauren's view on life – and death.
"I’ve been around the dead all my life and always considered it a normal childhood until I grew older and realised it was definitely more of a unique experience," Lauren exclusively told Daily Star.
"I was a student [and helped] my dad out on the weekends working funerals, transporting the deceased for cremations and coroner transports.
"My dad was always so busy working at the funeral home.
"He missed out on a lot of the fun things growing up, birthday parties, school concerts, etc. If I wanted to spend time with him, I found myself often times doing ride along with him.
"Once I turned 16, I would drive him around to death calls so he could get a little nap in.
"This job truly isn’t your typical 9-5 it’s a 24/7 gig."
Understanding that working in a funeral home was not a career path for the fainthearted – or if you have a busy calendar – Lauren felt that the job wasn't for her.
Although sadly, Lauren's cousin and fellow classmate took their life which put things into "perspective" for her.
From then, she knew that she had to put her skills for caring for the dead to good use.
"I told myself growing up I didn’t want to do this for a job," she told us.
"But, right as I was about to graduate high school my cousin and fellow classmate took his own life.
"We were set to graduate and start life and his had come to an abrupt halt.
"It changed my whole perspective on everything.
"I found myself being called to do this as a career.
"I wanted to able to help families navigate the loss of a loved one and care for the dead."
Lauren's life has consisted of finalising funeral arrangements, embalming, dressing the deceased and cremation – among other gruelling tasks.
Despite making sure the dead have a good send off in every aspect, she found that not everyone is too fond of those who chose to work in a funeral home.
Currently taking some time out to focus on being a mum, Lauren has built up a huge one million followers on TikTok where she regularly educates people about her job.
"The biggest stigma I see is this image of a cold, dark and mysterious, money hungry funeral director out to take advantage of you and get you to buy the most expensive casket," Lauren expressed.
"It couldn’t be more the opposite.
"Most of us select this career because we truly want to help others.
"I also like the opportunity to care for the dead. Most times I’m the last person to do.
"Bath them, dress them, do their hair and makeup.
"It’s truly an honour."
Lauren reassured that caring for the dead is of the upmost of importance, and is why most people want to work in such a ghoulish industry.
And when asked what it's like working with the dead, Lauren admitted: "I would describe it as peaceful and therapeutic.
"The dead don’t talk back.
"I know the general public might find that a little weird but I was brought up knowing that the dead can’t hurt you.
"It’s the alive people you have to worry about."
You can follow Lauren on TikTok here.
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