By Pat Williamsen

Midway through Furnishing Eternity, David Giffels observes, “I’d just gotten blood—my own blood—on a coffin—my own coffin.” It’s a ghoulish remark about the macabre activity of building one’s own coffin while still in the prime of life. But, as Giffels’s editor intuits, Furnishing Eternity “isn’t really a book about a coffin. . . .” Poetic, bittersweet, filled with wry observations, Furnishing Eternity explores family bonds, loss, grief, and lives well-lived: “The future is the past crashing through the present, and it never stops crashing.” Furnishing Eternity is Giffels’s most personal memoir to date—a generous gift to us all as we encounter the inevitable events that define the human condition.

David Giffels is an associate professor for the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program at the University of Akron.