Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
 Caitlin Doughty

Recommendation: 5/5


A young mortician goes behind the scenes, unafraid of the gruesome (and fascinating) details of her curious profession.

“The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else.”

I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to review Caitlin’s book. I’m a huge fan of her videos ‘Ask a Mortician.’ Her persona and videos leave a lasting impression, I knew the book would be nothing short of profound. I was correct.

Caitlin takes us into her world with eyes wide open. She reveals the spark turned inferno in her interest with death and all it entails. As she enters her position of crematory operator, you sense you are working along side her as you are privy to the duties and tasks performed, expected and unexpected. Extremely interesting read covering history of death, traditions, examines cultures and religious ceremonies and beliefs regarding death. Her client experiences are memorable, touching, reality in your face. The entire book is delivered with the utmost respect.

Her sensitivity, compassion along with professionalism allows the reader to understand death in a clear and educational manner. Her humor is peppered in all the right places not permitting the peruser to become overly remorse or overwhelmed. No doubt your fear of death will be tempered after reading this book.

“The more I learned about the death industry, the more the thought of anyone else taking care of my own family’s corpses terrified me.”

I am a huge fan of Caitlin’s videos ‘Ask a Mortician’ where she responds to questions regarding death and duties of a mortician/funeral director. Her candor and willingness to educate the public on a feared and often avoided topic is appreciated. Her attitude and approach along with her vision of the future dealing with death is intoxicating. I had no idea there were other ‘alternatives’ to select from, a real eye open for me. Nice to know ‘options’ are available and if Caitlin has her way, many more options and alternative approaches will be accessible eventually.

The book was by no means graphic to the point of nausea but it was honest on just what does occur behind the black curtain of tending to the perished. Some instances aren’t pretty but it is what it is, personally I thrive by knowing the nuances of the unknown…I feel more in control.

A book everyone should read by an author with capabilities every one in the funeral industry should possess. Her caring nature and treatment with complete respect sets the bar high for her fellow peers. Her intrepid manner addressing this taboo topic is refreshing, bold and wonderful. Take the time to read Caitlin’s book, view her videos ‘Ask a Mortician’ and explore her website http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/me.

▪︎Expected publication: September 15th 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company
▪︎Pages 272

▪︎ISBN13: 9780393240238
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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