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Funerals/Embalming chemicals


I have a somewhat strange question. The daughter of a friend recently died and her mother is really determined to understand the following: You can rub just about anything between your hands and the friction will cause a flow of electrons, resulting in warmth, or at least an increase in temperature. Also, most things will eventually have the ambient temperature of its environment. At the funeral home, my friend held and rubbed her daughter's hand steadily for almost 2 hrs. The entire time, her daughter's hand remained cold. Why? The only possible explanation I could give her was that it might have been some kind of reaction of embalming fluid. Your thoughts on the odd subject are appreciated."


That is a question no one has ever asked me !

The only explanation I can offer is that while you are correct that something will eventually have the ambient temperature of its surroundings, for her daughters hand to feel warm it may have taken more than 2 hours. This could be due to the density of her hand (skin, muscle, tendons and bone) and/or if she was been embalmed her body may have also been placed in refrigeration which would have brought the temperature of her body down even more.

I hope this answers your question,

Erin Phelps


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Erin Phelps


I can answer any questions about funerals,embalming, cremation, green burial, home funerals, burial on your own land, scattering of cremated remains and any other death related questions you may have.


I have worked in the death care industry since 1977, owning my own funeral home since 1990. I worked as an EMT at a funeral home based ambulance service for 6 years gain much experience there. When I opened my funeral home, my goal was to provide honest, straightforward, significant and affordable services to the families who called upon me for my services. Since Sept. 2008, I have served as a member of the Oregon State Mortuary & Cemetery Board, which regulates the operation of mortuarys and cemeteries in Oregon. I have been a regular attendee and speaker at various funeral related seminars over the years and am a frequent contributor to "Mortuary Management" magazine. I was one of the first funeral directors in Oregon to offer "Green" or "Natural" burial services and to offer assistance to families who wish to take care of their own family members at home. I also have vast experience in the repatriation of a deceased to their country of origin.

Oregon Funeral Directors Association, International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association, Cremation Association of America, Funeral Ethics Association Natural End Funeral Services - Charter Member.

Mortuary Management Funeral Monitor Funeral Service Insider

Attended the University of Oregon Associates of Science Degree - Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon

Awards and Honors
Top 10 Eye Enucleators in Oregon. Nationally Board Certified Funeral Director/Embalmer Honored in "Funeral Monitor", Aug. 2007 for my business practices.

Past/Present Clients
Since 1990, I have served over 10,000 families, requesting the gamute of services ranging from the simplest to the most elaborate. Servicing christian, jewish, muslim, buddhist, hindu and humanists, along with families from every continent in the world.

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