A Day in the Life of a Sexton

October 13, 2008
By Dallas Hall, Blanding, UT

Greg went to work one day, after he had finished his high school classes, and began to lay out the chairs required for the group who would be arriving at the cemetery, later. Once the chairs were in place, he made his way to the utility shed and retrieved the coffin lowering device and put it in place over the plot he had dug the day before. It had all been easy, and he had the distinct feeling that—considering his line of work—it was an exceptional day.

As the mourners arrived in their long chain, he went to sit in his truck—where he would wait until the majority of the mourners had left. The family wanted to watch the burial. The crowd of people began to dissolve and he backed the small dump truck up to the plot. He began to lower the coffin without paying much attention to its position relative to the hole in the ground, and for this reason, he was greatly surprised to here several gasps and a cry of “It’s opening!” come from the group of mourners as the edge of the grave caught on the lid of the casket. Knowing of nothing else to do, he literally jumped onto the casket and landed on all fours, consequently closing the coffin and lining it up with the hole in the ground. Being somewhat paranoid—as well as scared—he stayed on the coffin, refusing to look up as he rode it into the ground. Just as the casket reached the bottom, a young, clearly drunken mourner walked to the edge of the grave with a brown paper bag in his hand.
“One last drink, brother.” The man said through his sobs, and he took a swig from the bag. Unfortunately, crying and drinking was difficult for the man to do at the same time, and he coughed and spluttered his mouthful into the grave—unaware that Greg was still on the coffin, now frozen in shock. Still seemingly unaware, he poured the remaining contents into the grave, onto the coffin and down Greg’s previously soaked back. He could have done a number of things at that time, but most would have been unethical. So he climbed out of the grave and began to fill it with dirt. After he had finished and the remaining mourners had left, he used the hose behind the shed to shower off before driving home.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Dec. 10 2010 at 3:45 pm
_helenhorton SILVER, Springfield, Ohio
7 articles 3 photos 34 comments
This is an odd, but interesting story. Thumbs up!


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