Grave undertakings : mortician by day, model by night– one woman’s true-life adventures

From: Andrea Kalinowski

Author: Alexandra Mosca

Title: Grave undertakings : mortician by day, model by night– one woman’s true-life adventures

I was browsing the catalog one day and this particular title so intrigued me, I had to immediately place a reserve upon it. I then anxiously awaited its arrival. The book was entitled Grave undertakings: mortician by day, model by night – one woman’s true-life adventures by Alexandra Kathryn Mosca and it caught my interest from page one. Alexandra’s birth mother died in childbirth and that is only the beginning of Alexandra’s trials. One would think that if an individual or a couple wants to adopt a child, it is done as a humanitarian, selfless act but this is often far from the case. Alexandra’s adoptive parents were mentally and physically abusive and, at sixteen, she went out on her own. From an early age, the pomp and pageantry of funerals and death had fascinated her and she decided her calling was that of mortician. At the time of her decision, this was a career field that did not welcome women. The majority of her fellow classmates at Undertaking College were the children of established funeral families so they already had a position awaiting them. Alexandra had to convince the male establishment of her skills and even then, she was quite often relegated to the position of lady attendant. A lady attendant was the person designated to come in and make up the deceased. Alexandra had a hard time breaking into her field but most of the time managed to keep her spirits high and her determination strong. She proved to me, that if you have a desire and a willingness to sacrifice, anything is possible.

Departures

from Chris Garland
Departures, Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film 2008
‘Departures’ is a deeply moving film about death, a subject we don’t
like to confront,  but this film does it with grace, dignity, humility and
beauty.  It is about saying goodbye to loved ones for the last time and
thereby evoking the value of life.  How do we honor those who have passed?
How do we confront our own lives and the act of living?  ‘Departures ‘ is
the story of a young man’s spiritual journey as he is faces death every
day in his work.  It is through this that that he begins to understand the
joy and value of life.  All of us have been touched by the loss of someone
we love and this film honors and celebrates those feelings.