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In The Undertaker’s Wife, there’s a chapter in which a woman – the “prophet in red stilettos” – shows up to attend a funeral and asks Dee Oliver (a.k.a. the undertaker’s wife who, by this time in the story, is the undertaker’s widow) if she is married. When she learns that Dee’s husband has passed, the woman doesn’t miss a beat. “You are going to get married again,” she proclaims. “The Lord has a husband for you. But you don’t need to go looking for him; he will find you.”

There are four words you should say to someone grieving a loss — these aren't them.

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Interesting thing about widow hood is the large emptiness that comes with it.

Over the years of attempting to perfect this new role that I have been given, I have learned that emptiness can’t be filled from the outside. That it must and can only be filled from the inside.

Along the way, people have asked me, “How do you do it?” “How do you get along so easily?” “You seem to take it in stride.” “You have adjusted so quickly, so well.”

It is because you and your husband were in the funeral business?

What is it that you know about this?

Marriage is probably one of the best things that ever happened to me, besides having children and getting Botox of course.

The downside to marriage though, is that it just doesn’t last. I know there is the whole “happily ever after theory” but the reality of that is simply improbable.

You see, I am not referring to divorce; I am referring to death.

Couples start marriage at the same time and place but it usually doesn’t end that way. Rarely do married folks exit out of this world at the same moment.

I happen to have some experience in the separation of two people destined to be together forever. For 25 years I worked in the funeral business along side my husband Johnnie, who was a funeral director. As you might imagine, we saw a lot of separation due to death.

And now? Well, I am the left over part of “happily ever after”

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Who's Talking

John D.

"Just got this book and it is great! It immediately puts you at ease with a subject most would prefer to avoid. Dee, as the widow of a funeral director, and now a funeral director herself takes you through all of the various details that you will face at one time or another - and how you can ease the grieving process for your loved ones left to plan your funeral - and let them know how you would want your final arrangements to be handled. She accomplishes this in a very common sense manner with a healthy dose of humor to lighten an otherwise difficult process."

 

The Undertaker’s Wife

Part memoir, part how-to book, The Undertaker’s Wife offers insights on grief, survival, and the ever-present faithfulness of God. Sometimes poignant, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, Dee’s story helps readers prepare for one of life’s only certainties–and do it with wisdom, grace, and a healthy dose of joy.