It’s Not About the Funeral: What You Need to Know Before You Go
Chris R. Bentley’s exposé on the funeral and cemetery business; It’s Not About the Funeral gives one an insider’s account of the death industry from a former funeral home owner, funeral director, and that dreaded of all professions, the pre-need salesman. His book is quite thorough yet concise, a mere 158 pages, covering topics from pre-need to at-need arrangements, to the actual funeral service itself. There is a look at merchandise one needs to consider such as caskets, the monument or tombstone, the grave liners. Can one really use a rental casket? This question is answered and more. (Hint: Only in application to a cremation. See the end of Chapter III.) Alternative methods of burial are discussed such as at sea or for the flower child, one that is totally green. No stone is left unturned.
He does not write in the style of, say, Elisabeth Kübler- Ross, who is much more sensitive in tone. But then he makes no pretences to such accolades. Having worked in the funeral/cemetery industry, and having studied thanatology, I understand the author’s concerns, yet his style is a little lacking. His incessant references to the “hammering” one will encounter from the sharks that the big box corporations hire as salespeople will no doubt leave one reluctant to even enter those doors, especially if they don’t have to. But the point is well taken. After all, this book presents one with a ‘behind the scenes’ look and all the harsh realities that accompany it.
The stand-out chapters actually walk a family through the process, answering such questions as the need to embalm, “don’t embalm for the wrong reasons, namely because your salesperson wants you to.” This take-you-by-the-hand approach is comforting knowing what to expect whether it’s for the funeral service and burial, or the pre-arrangements. Take this knowledge and use it to your advantage and you’ll gain the most out of this book.
Strategic Book Publishing
Chris R. Bentley