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Book Review: “Does This Mean You’ll See Me Naked?”

“‘You already have Mom’s funeral money… You removed Mom’s clothes, didn’t you? Her funeral money is in her brassiere.’... Sure enough, the woman had sewn a pocket inside each cup of her bra and had deposited $3,000 in each side....These kinds of things are what really go on after you’re dead.”

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If you’ve been around Converse and Crowns for a few years, you’ll know that I like reading books with odd titles and while you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I DO think you can judge a book by its title.

This book is described by the author, Robert. D. Webster, as a field guide from a funeral director. At this point, I’ve read several books about the death industry and death practices in other cultures because I find it fascinating. Death is the one great equalizer and the way humans handle it can tell you a lot about a culture's beliefs, fears and more. I must also admit, that as a bit of a control freak, understanding my options and how things will work when my time comes is a bit comforting. I can’t control when I die or how but I can understand what I can control. I have a will, death plan and advanced directive in the hopes that my wishes will be carried out and that my family won’t be stuck with a bunch of overwhelming decisions in a terrible time. I know that makes me odd considering how the western world tends to act like death isn’t a thing but for me, I like knowing what is coming and how I can come to grips with it.

So, it is the desire for this information that brought this book to my attention but I must say Webster went far beyond what I was expecting. Webster tells various stories from his time in the death industry, including things he learned as a teenager working with his brother all the way to his current stint as a private funeral home owner. He covers the humorous and the horrendous but what I think I enjoyed the most was the information concerning the day to day functions of a funeral home. As someone with an undergrad in marketing and public relations, I loved the chapters on doing business, making marketing decisions and how effective advertising has impacted his clientele. It was fascinating to see an inside peek at what so many consider to be a creepy busy that actually operates more like Coca-Cola and less like Disney’s Haunted Mansion.

Overall, this might be a good starting point if you’re slightly curious about what happens to you after you buy the farm but don’t want to get too deep in the bodily fluids. Who knows? Maybe it will help alleviate some of your current death fears.


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