Christians should consider training and serving as death doulas.
“Death” is probably the last word you would expect to find paired with “doula.” And no, this isn’t some sort of spiritual metaphor; it’s an actual job in a young but rapidly growing field. Let me explain.
Christianity gets death backwards. You see, our advanced civilization tells us constantly to look forward to a long life, healthy and sexy bodies, a bright future in a steadily advancing career followed by an early retirement filled with travel and leisure.
Yet at the same time, we have more depression, anxiety, and chemical dependence than ever before. We have wealth but not fulfillment, leisure but not contentment, Instagram-worthy lives but not peace.
In all this, no topic is taboo except, perhaps, one: Death.
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.
As a Christian working in the funeral industry, I’ve noticed that there are very few solid, biblical Christian books for kids about death and heaven. At least, they are not very easy to find! As I dug around, I discovered a few absolute gems that are worth adding to your library.
If are a professional such as a pastor, counselor, funeral home employee, etc, you can use these for personal growth or to give out to families going through the death of a loved one.
If you are a parent or family member, several of these are ideal as resources to read with kids to help address grief after the death. Other books on this list will help to prepare yourself and your family for something which we will all experience at some point in this life.