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Opening Heaven's Door by Patricia Pearson
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Opening Heaven's Door

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Opening Heaven's Door by Patricia Pearson
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Feb 02, 2021 | ISBN 9780735282162 | 577 Minutes

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LONGLISTED 2015 – BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

“This remarkable new book by Patricia Pearson is a rare thing: bringing journalistic rigour to an impossible question…. The book succeeds so well because it favours questions over answers, humility over certainty, and (when called for) crunchy ice-breaking humour over earnestness. But mostly it succeeds because of its unabashed concern with love, as it’s experienced not just by those at heaven’s door, but by the human tribe that’s inevitably left behind when someone dies. Love, too, is a mystery that changes us.” —Tom Jokinen, The Globe and Mail
“Readers will be humbled and filled with a sense of hope rather than fear as they realize that the deaths of loved ones, or even their own deaths, are not losses, but simply transitions. A fascinating and candid analysis of the process of dying.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Pearson’s research is solid, and she writes clearly about difficult concepts…. She presents a valid case for looking beyond science in matters concerning mortality and the end of life. Opening Heaven’s Door could mark the beginning of a new conversation about death—a subject that, beyond its physical aspects, we are perhaps further from understanding than were our ancestors. Her findings could help us make better sense of our lives and deaths. And we want that, we all want that so much.” —Quill & Quire

“‘On the night of my father’s death,’ said the author’s sister at their father’s memorial service, ‘I had an extraordinary spiritual experience.’ How can you put down a book that begins like that? Hardheaded and openhearted, Pearson has brought together riveting accounts of near-death experiences that will shake your assumptions about where life ends, and what death means. For seekers and skeptics alike, Opening Heaven’s Door is profoundly comforting, questing, and wise.”
—Marni Jackson, author of Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign 

“Your life is over the moment you die. So I used to believe, with something like religious fervor.  And then I read Opening Heaven’s Door, and such is the power and art, the passion and rigor of Patricia Pearson’s writing that I’m not nearly so sure of myself. This is a splendid book in all the ways a book can be splendid. It is a book to be read and re-read and urged upon friends.”
—Barbara Gowdy, author of We So Seldom Look on Love and Helpless   
“In this compelling and provoking read, Patricia Pearson examines death and dying with uncommon thoughtfulness, asking questions too rarely asked. Moving and insightful, Opening Heaven’s Door is an important work for all of us struggling with the inevitability of death.”
—Steven Galloway, author of The Confabulist and The Cellist of Sarajevo

“Patricia Pearson’s Opening Heaven’s Door is a fascinating examination of the conclusion of all our struggles and victories: the instant of death. This omnivorous journey through grief and neuroscience and spirituality carries the reader swiftly along and into places we can never truly know—but Pearson provides an unprecedented glimpse.”
—Kevin Patterson, award-winning author of The Water in Between and Consumption

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