Dr. N. Michael Murphy is a clinical professor in the departments of psychiatry and family practice at Albany Medical College. He has worked for over two decades in hospices and come to the conclusion that "family healing and intimacy of a quality that may never have been experienced before is often possible around the time of death. . . . There is an urgency about this time; it is a now or never opportunity to speak from the heart."
While medicine, the funeral home, and the culture all still try to deny death, this thoughtful and practical volume challenges us is to fashion "a curriculum for living that emerges from the wisdom of dying." Murphy presents a model that he has used in hospices where storytelling, listening, and sharing enable families to really connect with each other as a part of the leave-taking and letting go that comes with death and grieving. The author also includes tips on the importance of meditation, rituals, self-care, bereavement, and care-giving in this process. Here witnessing the emotions, truths, and reminiscences of one who is dying creates a circle of love that nourishes all. This is a soulful work filled with rich insights into the bounties of life and death.