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The Divine Art of Dying
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The Divine Art of Dying looks at the unique moment when a person turns toward death and examines what the dying person and their caregivers can expect. Based on the author s own current experience, it s about how we might die well and live well up to the very end of our physical existence. Combining personal stories with solid research on palliative and hospice care, this book identifies the decisions the dying one and his or her loved ones and friends must make. Unlike other books on dying, The Divine Art of Dying takes a broader approach than just a medical one. It is not a case book but rather a well integrated look at the divine art of living and dying to the fullest, that includes spiritual insights from many sources along with references from literature, movies, and current culture. Karen Speerstra is an award-winning author. Her previous Divine Arts title Sophia: The Feminine Face of God (ISBN: 978-1611250046) won the 2013 Nautilus gold award. Written in a very readable style, The Divine Art Of Dying addresses real and common fears and the challenges of letting go and handing over a life. The book introduces new concepts to the body of writing on death and dying. It explains the medical complexities of end-of-life choices and gives helpful advice to caregivers to the dying in every chapter. and authentically chronicles the author s own dying process. Foreword by author and internationally recognized authority on hospice and palliative care Dr. Ira Byock."
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About the Author

Karen Speerstra was a writer, editor, and the author of ten books, including the Nautilus gold medal winner, "Sophia: the Feminine Face of God." She died in 2013 shortly after completing the manuscript for "The Divine Art of Dying." Herbert Anderson has been a pastor, a seminary professor, and a hospital chaplain and is the author or coauthor of numerous books and articles on death and grief, family living, pastoral care, ritual and stories, and spirituality. He lives in Sonoma, CA. Dr. Ira Byock is one of the foremost palliative-care physicians in the country and an expert in end of life decisions. His book "Dying Well" has sold over 50,000 copies. He served as the president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and is currently the director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center. He lives in Enfield, NH.

Reviews

Writing about dying, while "in the act," is a bit like writing a mountaineering guidebook while hanging off the North Face of K2 with wind clawing at your face. I wanted this book to be as authentic as possible, and still offer readers other ways of approaching this final stage of our lives in ways that may not necessarily be "my" way. For that reason, Herbert and I include dozens of stories from people who are family members, care-givers or others who are at that point we call our "blessed recognition." It's that point when we know that no more treatment is advisable or necessary. We realize now that death isn't just around the corner--it's standing on the sidewalk waving at us. [A] courageous and welcome addition to the end-of-life genre, and an intellectually rich and passionately intimate exploration of dying. A valuable resource; this book brims with wisdom and grace. - Publishers Weekly "The Divine Art of Dying" is a magnificent achievement. Beautifully written, it is a moving and inspiring book about taking control of your life as it starts to come to a close. Will Schwalbe, author of the New York Times bestselling "The End of Your Life Book Club" This book is like wise hands extended to those dealing with death. Speerstra shares the skillful means and open heart necessary to survive the common miracle of death with a grace we might call divine. Stephen and Ondrea Levine, authors of "Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying" This is a profound and practical guide to the art of living well while dying and of helping others do the same. Both authors are compassionate and skillful guides into another country. Mary Pipher, author of "Another Country" and "The Green Boat" Fortunately, one can now take life s final exam with an open book and the answer to mortality s question can be found within the pages of The Divine Art of Dying. How then shall we live? Fully, Intentionally, Attentively, Lovingly. Ira Byock, MD, bestselling author of "Dying Well: Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life" This incredibly eyes-wide-open comforting and informative and inspiring guidebook recasts anticipation of imminent death into an awakened celebration of life for the dying person and her or his companions. I feel the wiser for having read it. An important book for everyone in the family of life! Sylvia Boorstein, author of "Happiness is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life"" ""The Divine Art of Dying" is a magnificent achievement. Beautifully written, it is a moving and inspiring book about taking control of your life as it starts to come to a close." - Will Schwalbe, author of the New York Times bestselling "The End of Your Life Book Club""This book is like wise hands extended to those dealing with death. Speerstra shares the skillful means and open heart necessary to survive the common miracle of death with a grace we might call divine." - Stephen and Ondrea Levine, authors of "Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying""This is a profound and practical guide to the art of living well while dying and of helping others do the same. Both authors are compassionate and skillful guides into another country." - Mary Pipher, author of "Another Country" and "The Green Boat""Fortunately, one can now take life's final exam with an open book and the answer to mortality's question can be found within the pages of The Divine Art of Dying. How then shall we live? Fully, Intentionally, Attentively, Lovingly."- Ira Byock, MD, bestselling author of "Dying Well: Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life""This incredibly eyes-wide-open comforting and informative and inspiring guidebook recasts anticipation of imminent death into an awakened celebration of life for the dying person and her or his companions. I feel the wiser for having read it. An important book for everyone in the family of life!"- Sylvia Boorstein, author of "Happiness is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life" "Those who are gifted with time for living while dying have an amazing opportunity for quality conversations, joyous gift-giving, and deepening friendships as we love and are loved. We want this to be a book to inspire, to help and to offer courage to others who can intentionally choose, as Karen did, for our final passage to be as rich and as fulfilling as possible. Living while dying is our final human act -- it's not a medical craft, but a Divine Art." -- from the book "Writing about dying, while "in the act," is a bit like writing a mountaineering guidebook while hanging off the North Face of K2 with wind clawing at your face. I wanted this book to be as authentic as possible, and still offer readers other ways of approaching this final stage of our lives in ways that may not necessarily be "my" way. For that reason, Herbert and I include dozens of stories from people who are family members, care-givers or others who are at that point we call our "blessed recognition." It's that point when we know that no more treatment is advisable or necessary. We realize now that death isn't just around the corner--it's standing on the sidewalk waving at us.""We need not fear death even though we do. We need not fear pain even though we do. Ira Byock, the widely recognized physician writing our Foreword, points out that pain can be dealt with more effectively because of new developments in palliative care. We intend this book to be a spiritual resource supporting people who choose to take the turn toward death in order to live fully until they die. The support of a dedicated hospice team also makes it possible to live comfortably and peacefully toward. There is still hard work to do letting things and dreams and people go. The dying will grieve for all we're leaving behind. Those who are gifted with time for living while dying have an amazing opportunity for quality conversations, joyous gift-giving, and deepening friendships as we love and are loved. We want this to be a book to inspire, to help and to offer courage to others who can intentionally choose, as Karen did, for our final passage to be as rich and as fulfilling as possible. Living while dying is our final human act--it's not a medical craft, but a Divine Art."

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