Throughout history the men and women who have prepared and buried the dead have been considered unclean. Whether we’ve been ostracized, or given a lower stratus, or temporarily shunned. If burying and handling the dead was an occupation in society, those who practiced it were the other.
With the advent of modern technology and a less superstitious view of death, undertakers have become less of the other. Today, we exist normally in the world, saved as it were from being outcast by the advances in understanding that science has provided.
In some communities, we’re even honored. But this occupation doesn’t come without a price. After all, we work for Death itself and are afforded a perspective on life that few are able or willing to see.
In ancient Egypt, the embalmers were also considered diviners. There’s some logic to believing the workers of death have a greater sense of the transcendent. We are confronted with life’s unanswerable questions as a matter of our occupation.
For all of us who have been confronted with death in our personal lives, we know all too well the questions that can come: Is death the end? Is there a God? What is the meaning of life? It seems that those who live in death’s shadow have a greater understanding of what it means to be human.
This blog is a forum … it’s a middle space, for those who realize their thoughts are neither divine or dirt. This is a place for conversation, where we can create and mold each others ideas about death and life. Welcome. And please, join the conversation!
Graduate of Northampton Community College’s Funeral Service Program.
Licensed Funeral Director in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 2007.
Bachelors Degree in Bible from Lancaster Bible College
Masters Degree in Theology from Biblical Seminary
Certificate of Thanatology from The Association for Death Education and Counseling
Currently a post grad student at The University of Winchester, completing the “Death, Religion and Culture” program.
ABC’s 20/20 Interview for Episode “True Confessions”.
NBC News Front page feature, “Funeral director Caleb Wilde is an undertaker for the overshare generation”
TIME Magazine online feature, “Confessions Of A Funeral Director’ is a Blog You Totally Must Read”
The Philadelphia Daily News front page feature, “Oversharing Undertaker Goes Viral.”
Religion News Service online feature, “Funeral director Caleb Wilde posts irreverent thoughts on death” This article was picked up by the Washington Post.
Folha de S.Paulo, Brazilian Magazine Feature.
Why Life Insurance Really Matters in Erie Sense’s Magazine.
The American Funeral Director. June, 2013. “Funeral Blogger.”
The Atlantic: Quoted in “Burying Your Dead Without Religion”
ABC News:Quoted in “Dead People Get Life-Like Poses at Their Funerals”
Forbes: Quoted in “Death of the Death Care Industry.”
US News and World Report: Quoted in “7 Ways to Help a Loved One Grieve”
Philadelphia Inquirer: Quotes in “Themed Funerals Reflect Boomer Generation.”
Church Leaders Top 100 (Book). “Why 99% of Pastors are Universalists … at Funerals?”
Interview on the Drew Marshall Show.
CBS Philly Feature and Interview “Chester County Funeral Director Uses Social Media To Encourage Conversations About Death”
Annual Editions: Death, Dying and Bereavement 14th Ed., 10 Burdens and Coping Mechanisms of Funeral Directors
Here are some of the featured posts I’ve written:
10 Reasons I’m a Funeral Director at Huffington Post.
How To Take A Funeral Selfie Without Being A Horrible Person at Talking Points Memo
Westboro Baptist and You at RELEVANT Magazine.
Why 99% of Pastors are Universalists at Funerals at Church Leaders.
5 Things Funeral Directors Wish Pastors Knew at Church Leaders
12 Things My Father Taught Me about Being a Funeral Director at funeralOne.
Here are some guest posts I’ve written:
What Do You Have to Know to be Saved? at Rachel Held Evan’s blog.
Caleb the Undercover, Undertaking Missionary at Jamie Wright’s “Jamie The Very Worst Missionary.”
Caleb Wilde, Funeral Director at Matt Appling’s “The Church of No People.”
This is How We Met: Caleb’s Story at Leigh Kramer’s blog.
How to Speak the Language of Grief at Leanne Penny’s blog.
Ask a Funeral Director in Rachel Held Evans’ “Ask a …” Series.
Thanks to You, John Wilkes Booth in The Order of the Good Death’s blog.
Come Morire Nell’epoca della Rivoluzione della Comunicazione at Salone del Lutto
Also, I get my writing published in the local newspaper a couple times a week. If you want to check out my work, click here!