The End

The End

The Human Experience of Death

Book - 2013
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Beautifully written and highly researched, this book provides a different framework through which to view death instead of the fear and mystery that so often shrouds this incredibly important moment of life. We know so much about birth--women have shared their experiences and medicine has exhaustively documented it. But at the other end of a life, death is hidden, taboo, mysterious, fearful, rarely shared, and often a lonely, dark bookend. Death is one of few experiences that unites every single being on the planet, but we don't talk about it, we try not to think about it, and anyone who breaks these unspoken taboos is viewed as being unnecessarily morbid. Yet many who have been present at the death of a loved one talk of it as being a gift, they have taken part in a profound moment. This is an exploration of that experience, exploring the human experience of death from every angle--the spiritual, the historical, the physical, the metaphysical; from the perspective of those who have witnessed it, those who face it, and those who have somehow stepped back from it. The End investigates an experience common to every single one of us and does so in a way that is engaging, compelling, a bit funny, and a bit quirky in places, sometimes heartbreaking, but most of all fascinating.
Publisher: North Sydney, NSW. : Vantage Books, published by Random House Australia Pty Ltd, 2013
ISBN: 9781742752051
Branch Call Number: 304.64 NOGRADY
Characteristics: 260 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 14, 2015

A decent attempt at examining death. It covers the physiological aspects in depth that I haven't seen in other books on the subject (probably a good companion to "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande). It gives a bit more coverage to right to die issues than some other books, and examines the origins of hospice care. It seemed to buy into the whole near death experience a bit too much for me. Although that is a good reminder for me of how faith can help people deal with their fears of death. While that may not hold for me, it was a good reminder of respecting that it can help other people, and I should probably let it go if it helps them. My other big take away was that the most common regret of the dying was living the life other people expected of them rather than having the courage to live life true to themselves. Certainly a valuable lesson for living.


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