Okay, so I’m being overly dramatic this morning. I mean, I am dying. We’re all dying. It’s just that I don’t usually think about it: the when, and how, and where, and whys of it. But I started to read Thomas Lynch’s book, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, last night. (The Kindle edition was on sale yesterday for $1.99 and was still on sale this morning, but I’m not sure for how much longer. *Here’s the link.)
Should I mention that as a child, I lived down the street from the Lynch family? Like RIGHT down the street. I went to school with one of the Lynch kids. My sister went to school with another. My sisters and I went trick-or-treating at their house—which was next to the funeral parlor. One of the Lynch kids mooned me when we were both REALLY young. So, there was that… LOL
However, this is the same family who took care of my mother when she passed away, and my uncle, and my grandfather, and my grandmother…and pretty much every member of my family when they died. This is the same family who made horrible circumstances, the burial of my loved ones, just a little bit better. What can I say? The Lynch family are good, caring people! I can’t express how much I appreciate these folks. My family moved away years ago, but our dead still migrate back to the Lynch family on their way to the grave. I couldn’t imagine them going anywhere else.
Thomas Lynch has written a number of books. I’ve wanted to read his writing for a while, but I think I was afraid it would ruin things for me. Writing is such an intimate thing. What if I learned something I’d rather not know?
From my former neighbor.
The guy who interred my mother.
I’m not finished with this book, yet. I’m about halfway through its 200ish pages. However, the exuberant passage highlighting and the reading of fascinating bits out loud has severely hampered my progress. (Otherwise, I probably would have devoured this book in one sitting.) Thomas Lynch has way with words and for turning phrases. If you’ve read Mary Roach’s book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, you’ll probably enjoy Thomas Lynch’s writing. (Although The Undertaking is written more like a personal memoir than Ms. Roach’s book.)
I would definitely recommend this as a book to read, although in retrospect, I’m glad I waited twentyish years after it was first published, especially when reading anecdotes related to his children. Frontline did a documentary if you’re curious.
As a former neighbor, this is very cool and weird for me to watch! The video does give you a sense of the family and the small town where I grew up. Like I said before, the Lynch family are good people. Really grateful to be able to read Thomas Lynch’s memoir and for him to share the story of his day-to-day life.
Have a wonderful day!