Dying: A Book of Comfort
Pat McNees


"This remarkable collection, coming from personal experience and wide reading, will help many find the potential of growth through loss." -- Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement. Nobody teaches us how to die, or how to nurture those we love who are dying or grieving. Certainly Pat McNees had no idea how to help her father through a lingering death from cancer. But in a strange way the three months she spent with her dying father and the rest of her family were "a positive experience, both healing and transforming." And after her father died, she prepared a wonderful gift for the rest of us. Reading deeply and widely, and questioning everyone she encountered, she found passages that had touched people's hearts, offered healing insights, or eased the pain and confusion of death and loss and grief. Her anthology is a treasury of life-affirming passages that capture and crystallize the profound emotions surrounding death. Some passages capture the ordinary wisdom that, shared in time of need, becomes illuminating. Some provide solace and assurance that there is no typical timetable for grieving loss: that feelings such as anguish, anger, impatience, anxiety, guilt, confusion, numbness, and craziness may hit in unpredictable sequences and, just when you think you're through them, come back again. Some passages remind us how to live every day to the fullest. Included are prayers from different faiths and selections to read at funerals and memorial services -- passages that will express your thoughts and feelings at a time when you are most at a loss for words. "Seldom have I read a book that exudes such comfort, such an embrace of genuine insight, care and support...The book is story, compassion and direction, determined to be a friend without being another futile attempt at how-to. The book's gift, and it is a rich treasure for the reader, is that it embraces who we are....The book can be read cover to cover, or just pick out a page. Something will leap off the page, a story, a quote, a reading, narrative couplings of diverse themes colorfully worded by the author/scribe, to give you the needed word or embrace."

--- Rev. Richard B. Gilbert, Director
The World Pastoral Care Center

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