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Autopsy Excerpts…How a Coroner Sees You


Mortality is a sobering topic, especially when discussing your own. I hadn’t given it much thought until I spent a few weeks caring for aging men and women, some with varying stages of dementia. I started to visualize myself in 30 or 40 years. It’s not a pretty picture for a woman vain enough to create a blog about resisting going gray, and battling bulges with a vengeance!

In a couple of decades I’ll be blogging about resisting the effects of gravity on my boobies, and lack of elasticity elsewhere . . . probably, unless Kegel wards off droop forever. But, I digress.


Death is inevitable. For some it comes early due to trauma or illness. For others, who insist upon controlling their own fate, it comes at their own hand. Regardless of how the Grim Reaper arrives, he makes no apologies for his visit; he exhibits no sentimentality.

Coroners have the same cold approach in their job–necessarily, of course. When put into the context of yourself, however, the indifference with which coroners sum up the demise of a newly dead human being is . . . well, horrifying. I inserted my own name into this actual autopsy report, and then experienced a fright-induced temporary rigor mortis, followed by comical hysteria.

You try it. Put in your name, Kathy, Bill, Juan, Mark, Anita, Andy, Joanne at the top of this report, and fill in your own stats. I dare you.


#2054 12245 thb3T.M. Burroughs



My body is identified by toe tags, and is that of an unembalmed, refrigerated (!) adult female Caucasian. My body is not clothed. My body weighs 120 pounds, and measures 61 inches.


My head is otherwise normccephalic, and covered by brown hair, with slight graying at the roots. There is no balding, and the hair can be described as long and wavy. Mustache and beard are absent. The cronasal passages are unobstructed. Upper and lower teeth are present. The neck is unremarkable. There is no chest deformity. The external genitalia are those of an adult female.


My skin shows early decomposition change with a green-gray discoloration of the face and red skin marbling noted over the upper extremities.


There are no subcutaneous or subgaleal hemorrhage in my scalp. My fresh brain weighs 1420 grams. A normal convolutionary pattern is observed.


There are no aneurysms. My cranial nerves are intact.


The organs of my abdominal cavity have a normal arrangement and none are absent.


My heart weighs 390 grams. It has a normal configuration.

This is, of course, a truncated autopsy report. But, nevertheless, I am grateful that my teeth are present and my abdominal organs managed to attend the autopsy well arranged, and that my mustache and beard are absent.

I take exception, however, to the comment about my neck being “unremarkable,” but am pleased my chest shows no deformity, not even a little sag.

My heart seems heavy, but who can blame it–I’m dead.

As for the green-gray discoloration of my face–that’s nothing a little Cover Girl can’t handle.


thb4More humor on aging by this author, go to




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About Author

Baron Von Kowenhoven

Baron was just a shy kid with a dream, growing up in the 40's with a knack for story-telling. After a brief career in film, Von Kowenhoven went to Europe in search of fringe-scientific discoveries and returned in the 90's to unleash them on the entertainment and political landscape of America.

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