After 50 years in the funeral business, 80-year-old grandmother-undertaker June Knights Nadle has seen it all — at least all of what goes on before, during, and after life’s ultimate challenge. In Mortician Diaries, she combines equal doses of charm, humanity, humor, and reality to tell it like it is on this taboo subject. A kind of Prairie Home Companion set in a mortuary, the book features memorable stories of regret — “I wish I had kissed him on the morning he had the accident” — and renewal, as the lesson of facing life’s last great event is learned, or not. Some of the accounts here are funny, some sad. Some are haunting in their strangeness as they reveal the many ways in which people cope. Along the way, the reader is drawn into Nadle’s own life story as an unconventional woman who devoted herself to the dead and to those they left behind.