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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Caleb Wilde (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story, But narrator is the wrong guy

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I've been reading Caleb's blog for years and the best thing about his writing is his honest and true voice. Like your college buddy telling you what it's really like in his job. All the inside jokes, backstage humor and the real thoughts that go through his head. I have seen Caleb's pictures and watched his TED Talk. He's a regular guy. And this book is a very accurate picture of his life. It's a good story.

Then Why Oh Why does the producer of the audio book have to choose some low baritone slow talker for a narrator. That is not Caleb's voice. It's soooo stereotypical of the entertainment field to think that funeral people all talk in low, slow, hushed tones. We don't. We tell jokes and laugh and have fun just like everyone else. A younger, regular sounding narrator would have made the book so much better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Future Funeral Director

Parts of it it sounded redundant. Otherwise informative. The author helped me to understand some of my own feelings about death.

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  • Angelina
  • Califon, NJ, United States
  • 03-30-18

life changing and deeply touching

the authors anecdotes and views on death negativity are unlike anything I've ever read. I absolutely loved it

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    4 out of 5 stars
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With all the funeral directors where as truthful

It’s nice to hear funeral director that can be so open and honest, most that I’ve come across are not.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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brilliant!

I am a hospice social worker and found this book so inspiring. Thank you Mr. Wilde for this beautiful memoir!

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Absolutely wonderful

Down to earth and from personal experience, Caleb shares what he has gone through, which in turn helps future Funeral Directors get a glimpse of some of exactly what Death Care entails. Very good book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Death Positive View

This book provides a very helpful perspective on having a death-positive view of death. As someone who works in hospital chaplaincy, I found this book to be incredibly interesting and helpful. The narrator did a good job, and the whole book was an easy listen.

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Confessions of a Funeral Director

I guess this would be a good book for those who are really into religion. I'm not, therefore I don't feel I should review this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Spectacular! Changed my Life--Really!

I though I already had a pretty healthy appreciation for death and the life after life. But, Caleb's book touched me deeply. He's smart, articulate, and speaks with authority. I'm recommending this book to all my family and to several friends. And, I'm so grateful to Caleb for the book. Loved every word.

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Excellent book!!!!!!

It's a little sad but at the same time realistic, I think the intentions are to learn how to not to be so afraid of dead, it helps to see this event as a natural step in life.

LOVED IT!!!! Hope the author comes up with part 2 :)

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  • Mr. P
  • 01-09-18

Brilliant

Really interesting book, fascinating insight into things we don’t nornKky get to learn about, and absolutely brilliant, almost poetic, writing. Highly recommended.

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  • Adrian
  • 02-27-18

worth a listen

Enjoyed it. wonderful insights. to some extent, it helped me come to terms with my father's death. in addition to loss, death reminds us to actively remember our loved ones, and to identify and acknowledge the things they have given us - physical, biological, spiritual, psychological