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Deliverer of the Dead

Allow me to set the scene. It’s the end of the first semester. Classes are over. Final papers have been written and exams have been taken. Many students are looking forward to going back home for the break. The Round Table has had the pleasure to sit down and talk to one Beloit student, Liam Warren ’23, who had a very interesting winter break.

RT: So, Liam. Thank you so much for taking the time to sit and talk about your break. Let’s start with the basics. Tell me a bit about yourself? Where are you from? What is your major? What do you like to do for fun?

Liam: My name is Liam. I am from Minnesota. More specifically, I am from Eden Prairie, a suburb of Minneapolis. I am a Junior at Beloit, and I am a chemistry major. I play Ultimate Frisbee for fun and I hangout with my friends and cook.

RT: So, I’ve heard that you picked up dead bodies. How did you come across something like this? Was this a job or was it something that you voluntarily decided to do? 

Liam: So, it was a pretty interesting experience. That was kind of a spur of the moment decision. My uncle that I was living with owns a funeral home. It’s what that side of the family does, and he is just one of the main funeral directors and people that works at the funeral home and deals with the bodies. So, what happened was that I just worked for a day. I went down to Minneapolis and picked up some bodies that had been flown into Minneapolis and there were two people that had lived in the town next to where my uncle lives. So, we had to go down to Minneapolis, pick them up and drive them back to the funeral home in Cold Spring. Do you want me to tell you more about it?

RT: Yeah, if you want to.

Liam: So basically, there were two people from the neighboring town who were cousins who were out in Montana snowmobiling in the mountains. And they were there with a whole big group. But one of them got stuck and so the rest of the group kind of went ahead but his other cousin had stayed back and so tried to get him unstuck. But during that time an avalanche had come and so they actually both got hit by an avalanche and I think what ended up happening is they suffocated and weren’t able to get out… So then, what happens in that kind of situation is a local funeral home in Montana near the mountains embalmed them originally and that’s in order so that they don’t decay too fast, I guess… And, what our job was to go down to the cities and pick these people up in, I think it was the Delta Airlines cargo area, and we picked them in two vans that the funeral home owns and we just put them in the back, but what was tricky about it is that and part of the reason I came is that there were two people that died, right… But my uncle and my cousin were going, and they decided to take me as well because both of the men that had died were pretty big dudes… When we put them in the back of the van, I am kind of taller so we had to move our chairs up to basically all the way as far as it could go and so I had my knees kind of on the dash when we were driving back because I couldn’t just fit my legs down… We took them back to the funeral home, unloaded them there and then my uncle just dealt with them after that. I never saw them outside of the box and I don’t think I would’ve been comfortable with that anyways. So yeah, that’s what I kind of did. It was an exciting experience. A little bit freaky you know because especially when I was on the way back with them, we talked about dead people for a while and talked about other things too. But then we talked about other things for a while and all of a sudden you are like, you just stop talking and think like ‘Oh shoot, I have a dead person in the back of my car and like, that’s kind of wild.’ But that is just life I guess and after that I just went back to normal life living up there.

RT: Thank you for telling us your story.

Liam: Thank you, it was a pleasure.

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