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Confessions of a Funeral Director

How the Business of Death Saved My Life
Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
Length: 4 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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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

What listeners say about Confessions of a Funeral Director

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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

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  • Dale R Clock
  • 17-01-2018

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Terrance K Sullivan
  • 13-02-2020

Resonates with me

As someone entering the funeral business I took up the mission of Researching the lifestyle, I’ve always viewed death differently than most, I found his references of being an introvert, and more often emotionally shut off, very similar to my own life to this point, with my different views of death I’ve often struggled with the idea, that perhaps something is wrong with me, I find comfort in knowing this is not the case I would recommend this book to anyone curious about the business, as well as anyone searching for comfort in grieving

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  • Taylor Klar
  • 06-12-2019

Not what I expected

I was hoping this book would talk more about what it’s like to be a funeral director but it’s really about the authors journey to find God. The narration felt slow and made this a very difficult book to listen to. Very little talk of being an actual funeral director.

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  • sirre
  • 04-05-2019

Death Positive vs. Death negative, true life.

loved it and live it on a day to day basis. This too is my life and a beautiful look into the struggles, triumphs, and enlightening effect death can have on ones mind and body.

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  • Michelle Leismer
  • 01-02-2019

Such an inspiring book

I absolutely LOVED this book. It was moving, full of emotion and inspiring for all those in this career or headed down that path. Highly recommend to anyone!

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  • PCF
  • 03-01-2019

Great Book

This was a profound look at the death industry. At how we treat death in our society and how we can learn from that negative place death is always at. The author found so much of himself by returning to his family business. He shares with us his journey in hopes we can learn from death too.

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  • T. Ogle
  • 21-12-2018

Excellent Gentle Handling of A Difficult, Avoided Reality

This is an amazing rumination of the beauty found in death.

Humanism, spirituality and the hope of an afterlife questioned and reconciled to astonishment of the beautiful macabre.

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  • Celeste
  • 24-06-2018

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
  • 30-03-2018

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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  • Maria
  • 16-01-2018

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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  • Craig Low
  • 16-09-2018

beautifully written

This is a beautiful and thought provoking story regarding death and our relationship to it

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  • Mr. P
  • 09-01-2018

Brilliant

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