Death and Dying
Overcome Your Fear of Death
For most people, the dying process, whether it be our own or that of a loved one, is one of the most challenging times of our life. We come face to face with our spiritual nature when someone we love is dying or does die. It brings up the ultimate question: the meaning of life.
We have the opportunity to live life fully in the face of our own death and those we love with an attitude of acceptance and grace. Knowledge of the afterlife can be very helpful in this process.
The process of dying was once part of the process of living. Well into the first part of the 20th Century, several generations of families often resided under the same roof, and the process of dying was part of everyone’s life. Later, illness and death moved out of the home and into the hospital or nursing home. Fortunately, when circumstances allow, caring for the terminally ill today can still be done at home, with the support of hospice care.
The books and videos referenced below are meant to be a resource for you and those you love. These books generally fall into the following categories:
An example of a deathbed vision or deathbed apparition is when a patient who sees a deceased loved one and communicates with the deceased in the presence of a caregiver. These apparitions differ from patients having medication-induced hallucinations. Typically, the patient’s mood will change to one of peace and serenity following such an experience. After the apparition, they will either recover from their illness or they will die. Death following a deathbed apparition differs from a near-death experience (NDE). In the case of the near-death experience, consciousness leaves the body temporarily and then returns to the body which then recovers.
After-death contacts are instances when the spirit of the person who died communicates with the bereaved.
Self-Care in the Grieving Process
These books provide information and support for one’s own grieving process. They discuss such matters as communication with the dying and responding to their needs.
Managing Care for the Dying
The focus of physicians caring for terminally ill patients is constrained by modern medical training, record-keeping, and economics. Medical training is not very helpful in responding to personal, as opposed to the medical, nature of dying. Our current technology places the emphasis on curing, not caring. To admit that treatment is no longer possible is to admit defeat. This is demonstrated by cases in which elderly people who are clearly at the end of their life are resuscitated. For the patient and the family, the enormity of the final transition far outweighs the medical matters. Some of these books offer help to those wanting to learn how to navigate the many issues associated with the dying process.
In 1961 Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a psychiatrist in the United States, in her book, On Death and Dying, gave the public a new and different way of viewing the terminal patient. This landmark book helped pave the way for the hospice care movement to take root and flourish. The following excerpts are from Final Gifts, one of the books listed below:
“Hospice is the main setting in which care of the dying has evolved into a natural, patient-centered approach. This special way of care is based on two principles: the dying people should be able to choose how they spend the time they have left, and that their remaining time should be as peaceful and comfortable as possible.
A hospice nurse is part of an interdisciplinary team—doctor, nurse, social worker, chaplain, and volunteers, with other specialists such as dieticians and physical and respiratory therapists brought in as needed—whose members play two key roles: care of the patient and care of the family. The evolution of home care has meant that many types of equipment and many functions once possible only in medical facilities—professional monitoring of patients’ vital signs and delivery of intravenous pain medications—can be provided at home.”
Organizations on Death and Dying
Video Presentations on Death and Dying
Books and Videos on Death and Dying
Afterlife Encounters: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Experiences
by Dianne Arcangel, 332 pages (2005)
Botkin, Allan L., PsyD and Hogan, Craig
Induced After Death Communication: A Miraculous Therapy for Grief and Loss
by Allan L. Botkin, PsyD, 232 pages (2014)
Buhlman, William and Susan
Higher Self Now: Accelerating Your Spiritual Evolution
by William and Susan Buhlman, 323 pages (2016)
The second half of this book is written by Susan Buhlman regarding death and dying.
The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life
by Katy Butler, 274 pages (2019)
New York Times bestselling author
Byock, Ira, M.D.
Dying Well: The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life
by Ira Byock, M.D., 299 pages (1997)
Ira Byock, M.D. is an award-winning leader in the field of hospice and palliative medicine. He is a past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Cacciatore, Joanne, Ph.D.
Bearing the Unbearable: The Heartbreaking Path of Grief
By Joanne Cacciatore, Ph.D., 222 pages (2017)
Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying
by Maggie Callanan & Patricia Kelley, 218 pages (1992)
Dunn, Hank M.D.
Hard Choices for Loving People: CPR, Feeding Tubes, Palliative Care, Comfort Measures, and the Patient with a Serious Illness
by Hank Dunn, M.D. iv, 80 pages (1990 – 2016, 6th Edition)
Fenwick, Peter and Elizabeth
Galland, Leo, M.D.
Already Here: A Doctor Discovers the Truth about Heaven
by Leo Galland, M.D., 140 pages (2018)
The spirit of the author’s deceased son appears and shares ancient wisdom with his father.
Gawande, Atul, M.D.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
by Atul Gawande, M.D., 282 pages (2017)
#1 International bestseller and #1 New York Times bestseller. Gawande is a professor at Harvard Medical School.
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and Chicago Tribune.
Guggenheim, Bill and Guggenheim, Judy
Hello From Heaven!: A New Field of Research-After-Death Communication–Confirms That Life and Love Are Eternal
by Bill and Judy Guggenheim, 353 pages (1995)
Halifax, Joan, Ph.D.
Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death
by Joan Halifax, Ph.D., 204 pages (2008)
Haraldsson, Erlendur, Ph.D.
The Departed Among the Living: An Investigative Study of Afterlife Encounters
by Erlendur Haraldsson, Ph.D., 264 pages (2012)
This Icelander is known worldwide for his field research.
When Spirits Come Calling: The Open-Minded Skeptic’s Guide to After-Death Contacts
by Silvia Hart “Wright, 241 pages (2002)
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief
by Martha W. Hickman, 370 pages (1994, 2002)
James, John and Friedman, Russell
The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses
by John W. James and Russell Friedman, 208 pages (1989 – 2017)
James and Friedman are Founders of The Grief Recovery Institute.
Jackson, Laura Lynne
Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe
by Laura Lynne Jackson, 288 pages (2019)
New York Times bestselling author
Jackson teaches how to recognize and interpret messages from loved ones on the Other Side.
The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There’s Life After Death
by Annie Kagan, 191 pages (2013)
Billy’s ongoing after-death communications take his sister on an unprecedented journey in the wonder of life after death.
Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die
by David Kessler, 163 pages (2010)
Konigsberg, Ruth Davis
The Truth About Grief: The Myth of Its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss
by Ruth Davis Konigsberg, 258 pages (2011)
Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth, M.D.
On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy, and Their Own Family
by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., 286 pages (1969)
Dr. Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, was a pioneer in near-death studies. This is a landmark book in which she discusses her theory of the five stages of grief, also known as the “Kubler-Ross model.”
On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss
by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. (psychiatrist), and David Kessler, 235 pages (2005)
Healing into Life and Death
by Stephen Levine, 290 pages (1987)
Healing meditation techniques for working with pain and grief
Meetings at the Edge: Dialogues with the Grieving and the Dying, the Healing and the Healed
by Stephen Levine, 290 pages (1984)
MacGregor, Betsy M.D.
In Awe of Being Human: A Doctor’s Stories from the Edge of Life and Death
by Betsy MacGregor, M.D., 293 pages (2013)
Noel, Brook, Ph.D.
I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One
by Brook Noel & Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D., 292 pages (2008)
Osis, Karlis and Haraldsson, Erlendur Ph.D.
At the Hour of Death
by Karlis Osis and Erlendur Haraldsson, Ph.D., 250 pages (1977)
There are 20 editions in 13 countries. This book is mostly about apparitions.
Quill, Timothy M.D.
Signs from Pets in the Afterlife: Identifying Messages from Pets in Heaven
by Lyn Ragan, 123 pages (2015)
Number One Amazon bestseller
Rando, Therese A., Ph.D.
Schlitz, Marilyn Ph.D.
Death Makes Life Possible: Revolutionary Insights on Living, Dying, and the Continuation of Consciousness
by Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., 245 pages (2015)
Volandes, Angelo E., M.D.
The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care
by Angelo E. Volandes, M.D., 220 pages (2015)
The Good Death: New American Search to Reshape the End of Life
by Marilyn Webb, 479 pages (1997)
Marilyn Webb was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for this book.
Willis-Brandon, Carla, Ph.D.
Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope from the Afterlife
by Carla Wills-Brandon, Ph.D., 248 pages (2013)
Dr. Wills-Brandon has published 13 books including a Publisher’s Weekly bestseller. She has collected nearly 2,000 cases of departing visions and visitations from deceased relatives and friends.