Megory Anderson is the executive director of the Sacred Dying Foundation in San Francisco, California and the author of Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life. This brief and very practical paperback for clergy and lay pastoral care workers provides wise counsel for being present in helpful and healing ways to the dying. Anderson believes that "death is a sacred transition, one filled with grace and mystery."
There are three parts in this handbook. Part 1 describes what you can do in preparation for a sacred death. Part 2 describes the last stages of death and how you might respond. This includes how to "sit vigil" with the dying person, and suggests rituals that might be used after the death occurs. Part 3 addresses the caregiver's needs for reflection and processing after the death takes place. The two appendices include counsel on what to do in special circumstances (such as when a death is incurred by the removal of life-support systems) and information (written by the Reverend Nancy Witt) about the physical and emotional stages people may experience as they die.