In the time that I worked for a Catholic church as a personal assistant to the priest, I went to my fair share of funerals. I got to where I knew, based on the person, their age, their manner of death where he was going to head to in the bible.
I also got to categorize mourners. It was in working with the grief community that I saw that those who worked with death must sometimes have challenges with life.
One hot sunny Texas day, the heat was pouring down on us. We had left the chapel at the funeral home and headed for the cemetery. We were only waiting on 3 sons. The tent that was above the casket did little to provide comfort for any of us. Sweat dripped down into our suits. I rocked back and forth on my high heels, a pair of ballerina flats stowed in my purse for the walk back to the car.
Where were they!?! We asked one another, knowing that no one had the answer. 5 minutes turned to 10, then 20, and finally, at the 45 minute mark, they showed up. A car wreck had cut them away from the final part of the funeral. One of the sons, a paramedic stopped to render aid. The second, a firefighter there locally had stopped to call for help. The final son, a policeman stayed to direct traffic. Their final act of compassion on the way to bury their father was noted by all of us.
As we left one another's company, I did not think about the funeral director again until I saw him at another funeral. I never wondered where he laid his head at night, or if he came from a long line of funeral directors. He was just "the funeral director" to me.
Caleb Wilde's book, Confessions of a Funeral Director will give you pause. You will gain insight of what it is like to be a part of the death business here in the United States. You will learn of the spiritual journey that it has taken Caleb Wilde on. You will learn of his family, his wife, and his child. You will learn about the humanity of acknowledging the act of death and dying in a very up close and personal way.
The descriptions are heart felt. His thoughts, fears, faith and humanness are all there, raw and unpolished. Comparisons are made and lessons shared that are gleaned from many of the world's religions.
Wilde's book shares with you the process that brought him into being a funeral director. He didn't want to do it at first. His spiritual struggles are very real, you can feel the pain of his internal debates on those pages.
He shares what it is like when there are problems in death with those that are still living. When there are problems of getting the deceased out of a building, or past family that is not ready to let go yet. You will read of what it is like to attend the final acts of love for a family member by the grieving, by allowing them to be a part of it. You will also learn what it is like to have those final arrangements to make when it is your own family member, too.
I really enjoyed reading this, and I did so in one evening. I know that you will like it, too, which is why I am sharing the link.
Thank you for reading, please let me know what you think in the comments below.