Howard Griffiths was born at the funeral home just like his daddy and all the way back to his great grandfather. The Griffiths family had tended to the dead in Beguile since the town had been established. Parker Griffith had built the original funeral home, and it had been expanded and refurbished by each generation of Griffiths that followed.
Howard Griffiths had grown up playing in the parlour beside the cloying flower wreaths and the caskets of the recently departed of Beguile. It was when he was ten that he had first started the Book of the Departed. It was old man Braddock that had first suggested it. Howard had been playing with a toy car on the carpet beside the recently departed man’s open casket when the amiable old man had asked the child to get a piece of paper and write some things about his life down; things that he wanted the people of Beguile to know. A quiet and obedient child, Howard had quickly done what old man Braddock had asked.
So started what had now become many tomes of the Book of the Departed. Pages filled with last-minute messages and requests for the relatives of those caught unexpectedly by death.
Once he had taken over the business, Howard has dealt with all the requirements for the newly departed, and then had a big chat with each of them, recording all the wonderous things that they told him.