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Young mortician is ready to prepare his brother’s body

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When Leron Minors became a mortician he had no idea his brother’s body would be among the first he was called on to prepare for burial.

However when 27-year-old Landro Minors died in a bike accident on Tuesday, Mr Minors insisted he wanted to assist.

“It is what [Landro] would have wanted,” he said of his sibling, a promising young cricketer.

The 21-year-old had only recently prepared his godmother Roseann Pitcher’s body for her funeral.

Such moments were “tough”, he admitted, but ultimately part of the job he loves.

“You have to separate your job from your personal life. When it’s all over you still have to have your time to grieve,” he stated.

Mr Minors first had the idea of becoming a mortician at age 16 when attending a funeral service for one of his great uncles.

His aunt, Doreen James, who runs Alpha Memorial Chapel in St George’s, prepared the body and the youngster was surprised at how good it looked.

“My great uncle looked much younger than when he was alive and since [Ms James] was a family member she took me under her wing.”

For the next three years he worked alongside her and learned the ins and outs of the business.

He recently graduated from the Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Services in Atlanta, Georgia, having completed two years of intense study.

“I can’t explain it. I felt like I accomplished everything I wanted in my life,” he said. “It’s an amazing feeling to know I am 21 and I have done it.”

Mr Minors said the job also involves more paperwork than most people think, such as filling in burial forms, obituaries and death certificates.

On a regular basis he has to meet with the grieving family, prepare the body for cosmetology, casketing and then the funeral.

But the most important element is the professional relationships he builds with people during a difficult time.

“A lot of things made me choose this career. It’s the dealing with families and the compassion of making someone’s loved one look the same as they used to look.

“It’s always the last image that makes someone in their mourning period better, so I want everyone in the last image to be a good image.

“It’s very challenging dealing with the family’s grief. Everyone grieves differently so we have to be aware of how they are grieving and how to handle it in a professional manner. Some people grieve by being disrespectful or fighting so we have to know how people are. You can’t have a hard heart, you need understanding.”

Mr Minors said some friends are often puzzled as to why he chose this career path. “The first thing they say is ‘how could you do it?’

“I tell everyone it’s a gift and not everyone can do it because there are a lot of things you have to deal with. It’s not always a good sight.

“Some things you cannot explain with how people die. You have to have a strong stomach for it. It’s definitely a calling.”

He thanked his family churches, the New Creation Worship Centre and St Luke’s AME Church, as well as his mother Tanya Minors and his late godmother, Ms Pitcher, for supporting his career choice.

Mr Minors encouraged other young people to follow their hearts when deciding on a life path. “Don’t let anyone stop you. Go for that dream and don’t let failure be an option.”

Leron Minors, 21, recently graduated with an associate?s degree in mortuary sciences.
Leron Minors, 21, recently graduated with an associate?s degree in mortuary sciences.
Leron Minors, 21, recently graduated with an associate?s degree in mortuary sciences.
Leron Minors, 21, recently graduated with an associate?s degree in mortuary sciences.
Lando Minors, Leron?s older brother, who died in a road accident earlier this week.
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Published November 05, 2011 at 8:51 am (Updated November 05, 2011 at 8:51 am)

Young mortician is ready to prepare his brother’s body

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