Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt

From Jackie Cantwell
author: McKenzie, Kenneth and Harra, Todd
Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
A compilation of true stories by morticians and funeral directors across
the U.S.  Each chapter’s author is identified by a hobby or interest he
pursues outside his career.  There are 5 sections: “First calls and
removals”, where the worker is informed there’s a body that needs to be
picked up from a nursing home, a private home, etc.  A memorable chapter
is “Roadblock” about a man new to the business, who loves snowy winters,
until he has to do a removal by himself and accidentally drops the body.
The section “Where art meets science” has an anecdote called “The glass
eye and other expectations” which gives a sense of how difficult the
profession can be when survivors don’t give enough information.  By far,
the most moving chapter is “Lesson: never go to bed angry” in “Family
matters”, where a young woman learns one of life’s most important lessons
too late. Reading it could change your life.  “The killer customer”,
features a remorseful biker named Snake whose mother has died.  “Wake
combat” in “Wakes, funerals and burials” tells the almost-unbelievable
tale of two brothers brawling at their father’s wake. And in the “In our
private lives” section, “The tapestry of life” tells the sorrowful tale of
a funeral director who had to bury two of his friends.  The book is funny,
sad, and evocative.

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