Kathleen Dowling Singh, who works with dying patients in a large Florida hospice, writes: "This book, with its view of the dying process as a passage filled with grace, is an artifact of our times. It arises as a consequence of our greater willingness to explore death, to bring it in closer to our hearts and minds, to cease trying to hold the reality of our mortality at bay. It arises as we, as a maturing culture, begin to embrace death as a part of life and more frequently allow our loved ones to die in our midst, allowing the mystery to enter our being."

Singh moves beyond Kubler-Ross's five stages of dying and maps the nearing death experience characterized by the qualities of relaxation, withdrawal, brightness or radiance, interiority, silence, the sacred, transcendence, knowing, intensity, merging, and experienced perfection. As the body begins its process of closing down, these grace qualities signal approaching death.

Although Singh loads this volume with some needlessly ponderous chapters on transpersonal psychology, she presents one of the most vivid and illuminating assessments available anywhere of what happens to us psychologically and spiritually as we die. In addition, she demonstrates a firm grasp of all recent literature on death as well as a sensitivity to traditional Buddhist and Christian perspectives.