St. Francis spoke of death as our sister. William Blake said, "I cannot think of death as more than going out of one room into another." Yet most of us feel uncomfortable in the presence of this great mystery and would rather not think about our own demise. This book contains stories, practices, and suggestions for dealing with this great taboo.
The author, a long-term survivor of AIDS, has served as an intern chaplain to terminally diagnosed patients at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Blending insights from Christianity, Buddhism, and his own experiences, Sharp discusses waking up to our dying, being with someone during the last moments of life, and dealing with the minideaths in relationships. Throughout the book there are passages which affirm the beauty and precariousness of ordinary existence. Death, for Sharp, is a teacher, and he has learned much from it about letting go, nonattachment, the inner sacred self, empathy, and love.