Book Review: Confessions of a Funeral Director: How the Business of Death Saved My Life


Chester County’s own Caleb Wilde is a sixth-generation funeral director who runs the family business, Wilde Funeral Home, out of Parkesburg, PA. Along with operating the funeral home, Wilde also writes a popular blog turned book, Confessions of a Funeral Director which deals with the intimate nature of death and subsequent grieving.

Having spent his life inside the industry of death, Wilde can be a bit disrespectful at times towards subjects which are often viewed in a more serious, almost holy light. However, his unique perspective also offers his reader a learning experience few have or are willing to offer.

Do not pick the book up expecting a tell-all expose about the funeral home industry for you will be sorely disappointed. Some chapters offer small snippets of insider information, but the book in a whole is about accepting death and how to better handle the grieving process.

Through beautiful stories lived by Wilde himself, he explores how a mundane task such as preparing a body for burial and comforting their loved ones left behind truly makes an enormous impact on the world.

As a culture constantly focused on every negative aspect of death, Wilde offers a more “death-positive” aspect on death and dying. Summed up simply: Don’t fear the reaper! With his years in the industry, Wilde is able to eloquently and effectively do this not through his own opinions, but observances.

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