Since I started this journey to becoming an Independent Funeral Consultant over a year ago, I’ve taken on all kinds of trainings and readings but one of the richest sources of information has consistently been from…Reddit! Yes, the time-waster of all time-wasters is now a valuable and regular resource for me on a purely professional level. Trust me, no one is more surprised about this than me.
A user posed the question on r/deathpositive:
I am interested in being a person that people can lean on at times of grief. Someone who knows about your rights, but will also hold vigil during the active dying process, help care for the body immediately after death, let you know that there are burial options beyond embalming and caskets. Besides becoming knowledgeable about the rights of those who are dying, and options for the recently deceased and their families, what else should I read up on?
The outpouring of recommendations was impressive, and I’ve already added a number of books to my Amazon wishlist. These were my two recommendations for my fellow #deathpositive Redditor:
By Barbara Karnes (aka “the little blue book”). This was first recommended to me by the wonderful Jill Schock of Death Doula LA when I took her Time to Die workshop. There is simply no better text to help understand the mechanics of the death and dying process. The simple, straightforward text is as comforting in it’s fearless honesty. This pamphlet style book is available directly from her website, translated into 9 languages, for $3 each.
#2. Home Funeral Ceremonies: A primer to honor the dying and the dead with reverence, light heartedness and grace
By Donna Belk and Kateyanne Unullisi. This was one of the first additions I made to my personal deathcare library, and it remains one of my favorites. Spanning the entire dying, death, lying in and funeral process over 8 chapters, the authors provide detailed information, professional insight and customizable ceremonies.
I’ve read a LOT of death related books, but there were plenty of recommendations that were new to me, too. Other books related to death, dying and funerals included:
The Art of Death Midwifery by Joellyn St. Pierre (okay, this has been on my list for a while!)
Beyond the Good Death: The Anthropology of Modern Dying by James W. Green
The Way We Die Now by Seamus O’Mahoney
The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise by Martin Prechtel
Are there any good books about funerals, death or dying that you’d recommend to someone looking to enter the field? Are you looking for a book about funerals, death or dying? Let’s connect! You can find me on Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Goodreads, email or schedule time to talk.