Tom Jokinen began to seriously question the secular funeral rites that are taking over the industry. The question had such a hard grip on his Finnish soul that he decided to become an apprentice undertaker. This book is about what he found, from the mundane to the macabre. For anyone who's secretly wondered why they paid $2000 for a 5-lb bag of dust--or questioned whether that dust was really the person they loved--Curtains lifts the veil on the funeral industry in the 21st century.--From publisher description.… (more)
Has your life been a failure? Let's make your death a success! --Jean Teulé, "The Suicide Shop"
Books...are tombstones. --Antonin Artaud
Two rules for picking up a body at the hospital, known as "removal": (1) Make sure it's the right one. This business, when you shake it down to first principles, is the burial or cremation of the dead, two relatively irreversible acts. Mistakes are frowned upon. Please check the ID tag carefully; and (2) Never stop for food on the way back to the funeral home when you're "carrying," not even at a drive-thru. It's bad for the brand, and is apt to put other drive-thru-ers off their doughnuts.
Until someone comes up with 100 percent cremation, there'll always be a remainder. Our mission is to do something interesting with it.
The hymn is our cue to lead the congregation from the church. There'll be plenty of time for shop talk and theology later--a life-time, whatever that may be. For now we have work to do. I follow him into the chapel.