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“The Mortician”: A Poem by Lori Papa

Apr 18, 2013

April is National Poetry Month so all month long we have been sharing poetry that encompasses the life and work of funeral directors. Earlier this month, we shared The Undertaker’s Prayer and The Undertaker – two poems that describe how it feels to work as a funeral director. This week, we are honored to feature an original poem by Lori Papa, whose husband, Paul Papa, is the director of Brueggeman Funeral Home in East Northport, NY.

Lori’s poem, “The Mortician” describes how inaccurate the perceptions others have of funeral directors are by describing her husband’s compassion and concern for the living. We enjoyed Lori’s poem immensely and thought you would as well:

The Mortician
By Lori Papa

What does one look like?
Some stories portray
A revived, aged cadaver
in morning suit grey.

A scrooge-like old man
Whom leaves one feeling dread,
For his business is busying
himself with the dead.

These stories all told,
Tales of creepiest creeps,
Speak of “diggers” who robbed
those that now “rest in peace”.

Is it folklore and fear
that breed stories and myth?
Should these be stacked away
with Tales of the Crypt?

I believe they have value
On All Hallows Eve
Or at campfire outings
or for scaring some plebes.

Other than that
They should “rest in peace”
We should Bury our Fears
As we have our deceased.

So, What does one look like?
I’ll try to explain
With all fears aside,
There’s some insight to gain.

For I know a Mortician
He’s lived by my side.
My wonderful husband
with whom I abide.

A compassionate man,
Who knows of forgiving.
For his business is busying
himself with the Living.

His smile will calm you
and you’ll rest assured
that he will support you
as you must endure.

He wears strength on his shoulders,
Respect on his arms
As he is your escort
Through some of Grief’s harm.

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts on Lori’s poem

About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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