Life Advice



Ask Amy: Brother writes unsettling funeral home dispatches

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have an older brother who is currently fighting lymphoma and stage 4 liver cancer. It is too late for surgery, so they are treating him as an outpatient. The outlook is not great.

My twin brother recently was hired to work at a funeral home.

He sends emails to me and our older brother almost daily regarding his funeral home duties.

These emails are extremely detailed accounts of prepping bodies (“they don’t complain”), transporting bodies, preparing for funerals, placing the heavy casket over the grave on slings and straps, and then waiting for the family to leave so they can lower the casket down (“sometimes it seems like forever”).

Amy, I am struggling with these emails, thinking that if I were the one fighting for my life, I would not want to read or hear about this.

These details upset me, but I am more concerned about my older brother and how this affects him.


However, I don’t want to open up a kettle of worms.

My husband says to stay out of it, and not get involved.

I am not sure what to do.

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions about what I might say?


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