My mother in law had a great influence on me, because she gave birth to the man I would marry.  She was a stately woman. When she was only 51, her husband passed away in the night laying beside her in bed.  He was only 56. He was a funeral director, following his own  father’s trade. Their family lived above the funeral home, which was a large edifice, with adequate living quarters above the actual mortuary.

As his wife, my mother in law was the hairdresser to those who had died.  She learned quickly to care for the dead as well as the living.  It had to be most difficult to raise a family in such a situation, but both of their children turned out quite normal under the circumstances.  Neither of them pursued a career in this area.

My husband recalls all kinds of stories during that time.  Whenever…

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