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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory (Book Review)

Book Review: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory is an entertaining and at times thoughtful book about one of the most tucked-away but necessary jobs in the funeral industry: The Crematory Operator.

Written by Caitlin Doughty, who worked as a crematory operator and is now an “alternative” funeral director, author, and YouTube personality, the theme of the book is not really cremation or funerals or gory details, though it definitely includes that. The main theme is death itself. Specifically, how our culture interacts with death (or tries to avoid it), and what things might be like if we looked death – in all of its messiness – straight in the face.

In large part a memoir of Ms. Doughty’s first six years working in the funeral industry, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes functions in turns as an exposé of the funeral industry, a defense of a healthy interest in death, and an inside look at interesting funeral and memorial observances of various individuals, families, and cultures, as seen through the eyes of a crematory worker.

These things are all tied together by a question: Does the contemporary funeral industry help us die well?

Continue reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory (Book Review)

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What Grieving People Wish You Knew (Book Review)

What grieving people want you to know

What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) is the full title of a slim yet exceptionally helpful volume by Nancy Guthrie.

You want to know how to help a grieving friend or family member. While you may never know exactly the right thing to do, this book is the next best thing. Continue reading What Grieving People Wish You Knew (Book Review)

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Book Review – The Green Reaper: Memoirs of an Eco-Mortician

Memoirs of an Eco-Mortician

Book review summary: The Green Reaper is the charming story of a modern funeral director as she wrestles with life, love, loss, and the contemporary funeral industry.

Gently weaving the childhood trauma of her mother’s death together with a growing interest in helping others who have experienced the loss of a loved one, the author provides an insightful look into both corporate funeral home chains and the small-town alternatives. Among these alternatives is the increasingly popular “green burial” movement: eco-friendly and home-based funerals that are simple, natural, and personal. Continue reading Book Review – The Green Reaper: Memoirs of an Eco-Mortician

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Review: Funeral Planning Basics, A Step-By-Step Guide by Enodare

Review: Funeral Planning Basics, 3rd Edition

Funeral Planning Basics, A Step-By-Step Guide to Funeral Planning is part of the Estate Planning Series by Enodare. These books are from a legal resource publisher with the aim “to provide access to quality legal information and products at an affordable price.” The books in the series include titles such as Estate Planning Essentials, Make Your Own Living Will, and more. The series is in large paperback format with about ~200 pages and a price range from $12-25 depending on the size and topic of the guide. Continue reading Review: Funeral Planning Basics, A Step-By-Step Guide by Enodare

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February 2017 Funeral Links

Resources for the Funeral Industry

Here is the February 2017 funeral links collection. In this monthly resource, you’ll find embalming alternatives that get away from nasty formaldehyde, a photo gallery of inlay cremation urns, The Sad Book, meditative prose from a man who lost his spouse and is wondering what to do with her remains, and much more. Continue reading February 2017 Funeral Links