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Confessions of a Funeral Director

How the Business of Death Saved My Life

About the Book

A sixth-generation funeral director and writer of the popular "must read" (Time magazine) blog Confessions of a Funeral Director reflects on mortality and the powerful lessons death holds for every one of us in this compassionate and thoughtful spiritual memoir that combines the humor and insight of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes with the poignancy and brevity of When Breath Becomes Air.

Death. It happens to everyone, yet most of us don’t want to talk about this final chapter of existence. Sixth-generation funeral director Caleb Wilde intimately understands this reticence and fear. The son of an undertaker, he hesitated to embrace the legacy of running his family’s business. Yet he discovered that caring for the deceased and their loved ones profoundly changed his faith and his perspective on death—and life itself. "Yes, death can be bad. Yes, death can be negative," he acknowledges, "but it can also be beautiful. And that alternate narrative needs to be discussed."

In Confessions of a Funeral Director, he talks about his experiences and pushes back against the death-negative ethos of our culture, opening a thoughtful, poignant conversation to help us see the end of life in a positive and liberating way. In the wry, compassionate, and honest voice that has charmed his growing legions of blog readers, Wilde offers an intimate look inside his business, offering information on unspoken practices around death such as the embalming process, beautiful and memorable stories about families in the wake of death, and, most importantly, a fresh and wise perspective on how embracing death can allow us to embrace life.

Confessions of a Funeral Director is the story of one man learning how death illuminates and deepens the meaning of existence—insights that can help us all pursue and cherish full, rich lives.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Caleb Wilde shows us how his faith was transformed and deepened as he allowed death to ‘quiet’ his faith rather than trying to manage death through his religious anxiety. I never thought of a funeral home as sacred space, but I do now. And I’m glad for it.” —Peter Enns, author of The Bible Tells Me So and The Sin of Certainty

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062465245
  • ISBN 10: 0062465244
  • Imprint: HarperOne
  • On Sale: 09/26/2017
  • Pages: 208
  • List Price: 31.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Death & Dying
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BISAC3: RELIGION / Christian Life / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Confessions of a Funeral Director by Caleb Wilde

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