Mortician Assures Grieving Widow ‘It’s Better To Burn Out Than To Fade Away’ Before Cremation

DETROIT, MI–It’s no coincidence that Caleb Davies’ funeral home headlined Yelp’s annual “Top 10 Morgues In Detroit” for two consecutive years in the early-2010’s. Paid advertising. But Caleb is also a customer service maestro. In 26 years of business, he’s seen every sort of tragedy walk through his doors, so Caleb is equipped with the necessary emotional intelligence to reassure people through any loss. Miranda Sorensen required precisely this type of care as she struggled to navigate funerary arrangements for her recently deceased husband, Keith.

The moment Caleb spotted Miranda plodding through the front door, he understood how desperately she needed his guidance. After exchanging pleasant hellos, Caleb wasted no time pouring out his condolences. His empathy was entirely on point, screaming “why?!” several times over, questioning God’s existence, and even bringing himself to tears at one point. Caleb’s emotional overload was such a scene that Miranda stopped crying herself out of sheer confusion — exactly the result he was striving for. And the best part? It was all an act. He didn’t know Keith, let alone care about his death. Caleb was simply doing his job as an emotionally intelligent mortician.

That’s when Caleb put on his salesman hat, running Miranda through the various services his funeral provides. Despite Caleb offering 15% off any casket, she ultimately could not be swayed away from cremation. Keith had requested cremation in his will, and though Caleb was adamant he knew people who could find legal loopholes, she stuck to her late husband’s wishes. Caleb pressed the issue no further, and they made an appointment to incinerate the body later that week.

When the day of the cremation arrived, Caleb sensed Miranda getting overwhelmed by it all. She was sobbing, and snot kept flowing from her nostrils. Maybe it had something to do with allergies? Or with the still-recent death of her husband? Or perhaps she wasn’t sure if cremation was the right way to send off Keith’s carcass? Caleb approached the widow, wrapping his consoling arm around her. “You’re doing the right thing—cremation rocks. You can use his ashes to grow a fig tree or something,” Caleb offered reassuringly. The comment caught Miranda off guard and only made her cry harder. Searching for a way to make her stop, Caleb recalled a quote he once heard, stating it aloud, “it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” Miranda rudely offered no reply, so they left it at that. Caleb then misattributed the quote to Chade Kroeger.

The cremation continued without further comment.