From Crematorium to Funeral Home, Big Brother retrieves a relative’s remains and can’t help but cry, knowing it would hurt if tears fell on them.

“Big Brother,” a writer known for sharing stories about the funeral industry and the supernatural, gained fame with his work “Hello, I Am a Mortician.” He recently released a new book titled “Filial Piety,” in which he shares his experiences as a funeral professional who frequently handles corpses and works at death scenes. The book also explores how his role and mindset changed when he finally encountered the death of someone he knew or a family member.

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Big Brother, despite being known as a funeral service worker, had worked as a caregiver for nearly a decade to take care of his father who suffered from a stroke. After a career change, he sometimes had to retrieve the bodies of elderly people whom he had taken care of at nursing homes. He said, “It’s not a curse, it’s just that sometimes the elderly pass away when you least expect it.” A few times he even recognized them in the system, thinking that “at least I can pay my respects if they are sent here.”


One of the most memorable people for him was a grumpy old veteran, who would often scold him while he helped him bathe due to his limited mobility. However, after caring for him for a while, the old man would sneak him some fruit for lunch, as if he were his grandson. One time, he realized that the old man had given him the fruit but still had an orange left for himself. He then noticed that the old man, who loved to tease people, had taken the fruit from another elderly man who couldn’t speak and gave it to him, which made him both angry and amused.


About two years after leaving the nursing home, he unexpectedly encountered the old veteran at a sad scene, where he had to handle the body of a deceased elderly person living alone, only to discover that it was the same grumpy old man. He didn’t know when the old man had left the nursing home, but he had fallen in the bathroom and had been dead for several days before being discovered. He was deeply shocked and kept asking himself, “How could you die alone like this?” He later learned that the old man’s pension had run out, and his family could no longer afford the nursing home fees. Instead, they found a house for him to live alone, which led to his unfortunate end.

Collecting bones when receiving grandfather’s death news, exchanging condolences with the bereaved family.

Big Brother, who has been working in the funeral industry for many years, thought that he should have a “big heart” and not be too emotional after handling death for so long. However, when his grandfather passed away, he was caught off guard.


His healthy grandfather passed away unexpectedly after a fall. At the time, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, and Big Brother was often working overtime at the crematorium handling bodies of those who had died from the virus. He was afraid of getting infected and couldn’t visit his grandfather in the hospital. He only had one phone conversation with his grandfather in which his grandfather, speaking in Hakka dialect, advised Master Brother to study hard and work hard. Shortly after, his grandfather passed away.


Big Brother recalls that he received the news of his grandfather’s passing while processing a just-cremated body and picking bones with the family at the crematorium. Because his phone kept ringing, he had to answer it, and that was when he learned of his grandfather’s passing and was told to hurry to the hospital. While working on the bones, he couldn’t help but cry, and the family was surprised and jokingly asked him if he was their long-lost father. Later, they learned about his grandfather’s passing, and both cried and said, “Please accept our condolences” while looking at the ashes in front of them.


Later, Big Brother insisted on driving the hearse to the hospital to pick up his grandfather’s body and take it to the funeral home. However, the familiar process of going to the hospital’s mortuary room to meet with family, reminding them not to let tears fall on the body, shouting the name of the deceased when taking them out, and asking the family to follow along became incredibly difficult.


When he walked into the mortuary room, he saw his aunt and cousins standing there. At that moment, he couldn’t care less about the custom of not letting tears fall on the body and rushed forward to hold his grandfather’s body and cry. He was unable to accept his grandfather’s sudden passing. On the way to the funeral home, his hands trembled uncontrollably on the steering wheel. With the help and advice of his colleagues at the funeral home, he finally let go of his insistence and “just became a mourning family” during this unforgettable reception process.

Original article from “The News Lens” website (Written and photographed by Lee Ping-Fang.)

From Crematorium to Funeral Home, Big Brother retrieves a relative’s remains and can’t help but cry, knowing it would hurt if tears fell on them.
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