Wednesday 31 May 2023

Sorry For Your Loss by Kate Marshall with Linda Watson-Brown #SorryForYourLoss @ kate_smarshall @lwatsonbrown @MardleBooks


Following Kate Marshall’s first year in the mortuary at a north of England NHS hospital, with each month exploring the people she meets, in life and death, as well as her own growing awareness of life behind the veil. 

Meet Mr X Found in his apartment months after his death, Mr X has no relatives that can be traced. He is the longest-serving resident of the mortuary, having been there for almost a year while the search for his elusive family continues. The staff talk to him like an old friend, but Mr X is disintegrating and a decision has to be made soon.

Meet Mary Her baby girl has been lost in the 15th week of pregnancy, Mary’s last chance to have a child. Mary won’t allow Abigail to leave the mortuary until she has finished reading a book to her. She visits twice each day, sitting with her baby, reading to her, speaking to no one, until she finally opens up to Kate.

Meet Joe A loving husband and father who has died suddenly of a heart attack. Joe is visited by his wife, his children – and his mistress. On the day that all his worlds collide, Kate witnesses how death can finally reveal the truth of years of lies.

Sorry for Your Loss is haunting, uplifting and informative, with many moments of laughter, and shows us that the way we approach death can make life all the more precious.

Sorry For Your Loss by Kate Marshall with Linda Watson-Brown was published in July 2022 by Mardle Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

Just like most people, I have never thought about what happens in a mortuary. I've never been in a mortuary and I don't know anyone who works in one. I absolutely love to discover new things through non-fiction, and Sorry For Your Loss is an eye-opening, tender, sometimes funny account of how bodies are cared for, after death and before a funeral. 

Kate Marshall previously worked with people who hoard. She cleaned up for them, and talked to them, but she knew that what she was doing was not making any difference at all. These people needed professional help to stop the cycle.

She found her true calling when she took the job in the mortuary. Her recollections of events, and people are so well written (ably done by ghostwriter Linda Watson-Brown), it's a joy to read this book. I feel as though I know Kate personally, and I'd certainly be more than happy for her to be in charge of looking after a deceased loved one, or myself! 

There are some eye-opening encounters for Kate and the rest of the team. There is no correct way to grieve and every single person will deal with things differently. What Kate does, and does so very well, is to allow people to be individuals, whilst ensuring that the deceased is given the respect and dignity that they deserve. Some families are incredibly difficult; wanting to FaceTime and take photographs, or look more closely at the body. Some families are just so so terribly upset that they don't take in what is happening, but Kate has time for all of these people. She comes across as such a caring and empathic person, she is full of humour too, but totally appropriate when in a professional situation.

Kate deals with the early days of COVID and there is no doubt that it was horrendous. It was like nothing ever seen before and the determination and dedication of the team in the mortuary is outstanding, I was exhausted just reading about it, and I really hope that they had support from above. 

A fascinating book, so well written and so informative. Highly recommended. 

Kate Marshall has worked in mental health, special needs and in the field of bereavement for many years with roles incorporating the coroner’s office, mortuary and Bereavement Services. 

She lives in Cheshire.

Twitter @kate_smarshall

Linda Watson-Brown is a ghostwriter and author based in Scotland. 

She has written more than 20 titles, and is currently working on three more ghosted projects as well as her own first novel. 

She can be contacted through her website at

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