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The American Book of Living and Dying

Best Seller
The American Book of Living and Dying by Richard F. Groves and Henriette Anne Klauser
Paperback $16.99
Aug 18, 2009 | ISBN 9781587613500

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  • Aug 18, 2009 | ISBN 9781587613500

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  • Dec 16, 2015 | ISBN 9780399578410

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Product Details


“Groves and Klauser weave threads of ancient wisdom with stories from real-life experience to create a uniquely American and practical guide for dying well.”
–Ira Byock, M.D., Director of Palliative Care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and author of Dying Well

“This excellent and very readable book finds new ways to create life even out of death. The American Book of Living and Dying opens avenues of healing and hope and shares them with us.”
–Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplationand author of Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go

Table Of Contents


Preface to the Paperback Edition – viii

Introduction – 1

Part I. The History


The Original Hospice: The Art of Dying Well – 13

A Vision from the Past: God’s Hotel – 14

Our Cultural Bias: Death Is the Enemy – 17

Hospice in America: Gift and Challenge – 19

Ancient Books of the Dead

The Heritage – 21

• Egyptian Book of the Dead: A Greater Light
• Celtic Books of the Dead: Spiritual Midwifery
• Gnostic Books for the Living and Dying: Bridge between East and West
• Tibetan Book of the Dead: Coaching the Soul
• Monastic Books of the Dying: Prescriptive Care

What the Books of the Dead Have in Common: Lessons for Us Today – 34

Spiritual Pain

Pain versus Suffering: The Human Condition – 37

Diagnosing Spiritual Pain: Asking Courageous Questions – 39

Responding to Spiritual Pain: A Psychospiritual Relationship – 42

• Meaning Pain: The Painful-Blissful Encounter with the Truth
• Forgiveness Pain: The Common Cold of Spiritual Pain
• Relatedness Pain: Leaving the Familiar Behind
• Hopelessness Pain: Death as Healer

Becoming an Anamcara – 55

• Ten Commandments for the Anamcara

Part II. The Stories

Annie: the Perfectionist
Will you love me even if I get it wrong? – 63

Henry: the Helper
Will you love me even if I can’t love you back? – 81

Sara: the Achiever
Will you love me even if I am not successful? – 95

Heather: the Dreamer
Will you love me even if you know who I am? – 111

Park: the Thinker
Will you love me even if I lose everything in life? – 125

Maria Elena: the Loyalist
Will you love me even if I break the rules? – 143

Andrew: the Adventurer
Will you love me even if I cry? – 159

Dorothy: the Asserter
Will you love me even if I am weak? – 175

Larry: the Peacemaker
Will you love me even if I disagree with you? – 189

Story Archetypes – 202

Part III. The Tool Chest

Art Therapy – 205

Breath Work – 209

Coma Therapy – 213

Dream Work – 218

Energy Therapies – 223

Forgiveness Exercises – 227

Guided Visualization – 231

Healing and Assistance from Ancestors – 236

Healing Religious Abuse and Images of God – 240

Intercessory (Nonlocal) Prayer – 244

Journaling – 248

Life Review Exercises – 252

Meditation Practices – 257

Music Therapy – 262

Religious Rites and Sacred Writings – 267

Rituals for the Bedside – 270

Rituals of Release – 273

Vigil Rituals and Rituals for Remembering – 277

Bibliography – 285

About the Authors – 294

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