MICHAEL Muir appreciates the beauty of nature and likes to see things done perfectly.
His love for beauty however, goes far beyond nature and life itself. For the 51-year-old morgue assistant, the final presentation of the deceased to its family is important.
It is no wonder that people always marvel at how long he takes to get the dead ready for funerals. However, the length of time it takes to prepare the bodies for burial does not bother him, as he wants them to look perfect for their final farewell.
"People say I spend too much time over the bodies, but them have to look good. They have to look as natural as possible, and don't look like dem have on too much make-up," Muir said.
With that in mind, Muir works at the smallest details, getting the bodies almost to perfection.
The dedicated Christian who lives in Galina, St Mary, said that he loves to see things at their best.
"I love to see things looking nice," he said.
The hard-working morgue assistant, who has been employed to the LP Martin Funeral Home in Bailey's Vale, St Mary, for the past 21 years, said that he loves his job working in that field.
Muir said that he lived in Kingston for some time, but moved to St Mary when his mother expressed concerns over his safety in the city. It was then that the former drink factory worker landed the job at the funeral home, where he has been since. It has been no looking back for him, as he has become very passionate about his job.
While others may be frightened at the idea of working at a funeral home, for Muir it is one of the safest jobs.
Muir shared that his first night on the job, and preparing his mother for her funeral were the two only frightening moments for him.
"It (getting his mother's body ready for her funeral) was kind of frightening, but mi make up mi mind to do," he said.
He said that he also drove the vehicle that transported her body.
"It was only when I was in the church that I started crying," he said.
Apart from that experience, Muir has no problem working with the dead.
For him working with the dead is much safer than working with the living.
"You more scared of a live man than a dead man. It better to carry a dead man behind you than a live man," a smiling Muir told Jamaica Observer in an interview recently.
While Muir enjoys dressing the dead, his job at the funeral home covers a wider spectrum. Muir, who is described as an all-rounder at the funeral home, is also a driver of the hearse.
He said that driving is one of the most exciting parts of the job.
"This job let you know places and let you meet a lot of people. We carry body all over the island," Muir said.
With death a constant thing, meeting new people is almost a daily thing, Muir stated. Although the occasions are sad, Muir enjoys meeting people.
He pointed out that the work demands much dedication and required workers to be ultra careful in carrying out their duties.
"This type of job is a very serious job. You have to be careful and wise," Muir said.
He added that, while the job is a serious one, there is fun in it.
Sean Wellington, chief executive officer of LP Martin Funeral Home, who Muir said is also a great inspiration on the job, described Muir as a devoted employee.
"Michael is a very dedicated employee, and hard-working," Wellington said.
Wellington said that Muir goes beyond the call of duty to get the job done.
"He is the kind of person who can be called on at anytime, even if it is his day off or vacation," Wellington stated.
Muir was also described as very helpful — a man who assists other employees with their duties, whenever possible.
Muir is one of the longest-serving employees of the LP Martin Funeral home, the oldest funeral home in St Mary, which recently celebrated 50 years of operating in the parish.
With his experience and years of service, Muir can be often heard reminding people how things are done.
Looking back over the years, Muir said that he has no regrets working as a morgue assistant.
"It's a good job," he said.
The reserved, yet polite and jovial Muir suggested that more young people were getting into that line of work than before.
Outside of his work hours Muir enjoys gardening.
"I love to see nice gardens," he said.
He also loves air shows and racing. If he is not at work, church or enjoying one of his favourite events, Muir said that he can often be found watching television.
The meticulous Muir has no intention of leaving his line of work soon and intends to continue serving the families of the dead in the best way he knows how — presenting the dead at their best.