What is Natural Body Care?
Having come from a background of virtually every deceased being embalmed, it was not an easy shift for Martha-Louise to move to a natural way of caring for the deceased in her care, but after seeing the benefits of this, embalming has now become a rarity.
“Families appreciate the natural appearance of the deceased” without the smell of chemicals, or the plastic appearance of an embalmed body” says Martha-Louise. “We do not use a refrigerator, but rather, use cooling packs placed strategically around the deceased. This process is more labour-intensive as the packs need to be replaced every 24 hours, but the positives far outweigh the negatives”.
Whilst the Manning Funeral Cottage prefer this natural and unintrusive way of caring for a deceased person, if embalming is considered necessary, this would be discussed with the family. “I had one elderly unembalmed woman in my care for eight days and on the day of her funeral, she was still looking beautiful. In saying that, the human body is complex and due to the cause of death, deterioration may begin to occur very soon after death, or in fact prior to death” said Martha-Louise.
Even if a family wish to have their family member brought home, natural body care is still an option and Manning Funerals is happy to visit every day to refresh the packs. Sometimes, families find it cathartic to be involved in this too.