FEN's Favorite Books
Abraham, John. How to Get the Death You Want: A Practical and Moral Guide
(2017) An Episcopal priest and thanatologist offers a detailed manual for considering end-of-life options.
Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet in Heaven
(2003) "An astoundingly original story that will change everything you've ever thought about the afterlife--and the meaning of our lives here on earth."
Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson
(1997) Albom rediscovered Morrie in the last months of his former college professor's life and visited the dying older man every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live.
Alexander, Eban. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
(2013) “Brings a unique perspective to the sacred world combining a glorious, personal vision of spiritual consciousness with patient, insightful scientific inquiry.”
Alexander, Elizabeth. The Light in the World
(2015) The African American poet’s memoir of her marriage and the sudden death of her husband is by turns sorrowful and joyful, earthy and elegiac, deeply personal and achingly universal.
Alford, Henry. How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They are Still on this Earth)
(2009) This witty guide for seekers of all ages offers instant enlightenment through conversations with those who have lived long and lived well.
Anderson, Megory. Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life
(rev. & expanded 2003)
Anderson, Moira. Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of your Pet
(3rd ed., rev. 2007) Treats this serious subject with sympathetic feeling, helpful information and guidance.
Applewhite, Ashton. This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism
(2016) In her call to arms against ageism, Applewhite explores the fear of dying.
Ariès, Philippe. The Hour of Our Death: The Classic History of Western Attitudes Toward Death over the Last One Thousand Years
(1981) The result of almost two decades of study, this classic -- a revision of Western Attitudes Toward Death -- traces the changes in attitudes toward death and dying from the earliest Christian times to the present day.
Arya, Pandit Usharbudh. Meditation and the Art of Dying
(1979) The author, known as Swami Veda Bharati, "born in the strict tradition of yoga and philosophical teachings of India," offers a "scholarly, insightful work integrates history and philosophical wisdom to span the gap between life and death."
Assante, Julia. The Last Frontier: Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death
(2012) This exploration of the afterlife and communication with the dead, by a professional psychic and a professional scholar, addresses questions about God, heaven, and hell, give evidence for existence beyond death, and share historical accounts, religious scholarship, near-death experiences, and after-death communication.
Atwater, P.M.H. Complete Idiot's Guide to Near-Death Experiences
(2000) An overview of information on near-death experiences and belief in the afterlife, including personal accounts, case studies, and religious viewpoints, as well as advice on coping with personal experiences.
Atwater, P.M.H. We Live Forever: The Real Truth about Death
(2004) Delves into the truths and myths about death that may shed new light on the real truth about life and living. Other books by this prolific author, include Beyond the Light (1994), and Future Memory (2013).
Bahti, Tani. Dying to Know: Straight Talk about Death and Dying
(2006) An R.N and the writer/producer of the film Living Through Dying: The Struggle for Grace, succinctly offers information and advice from her experienced perspective.
Barbato, Michael. Reflections of a Setting Sun: Healing Experiences Around Death
(2009) The Australian palliative care physicians offers a profound perspective on the death experience, including the distinction between hallucinations and deathbed visions.
Barnes, Julian. Nothing to be Frightened of
(2008) A memoir on mortality that touches on faith and science and family.
Batchen, Geoffrey. Forget Me Not: Photography & Remembrance
(2004) Explores the centuries-old practice of strengthening the emotional appeal of photographs by embellishing them with text, paint, frames, embroidery, fabric, string, hair, flowers, butterfly wings, cigar wrappers and more.
Becker, Ernest. Denial of Death
(1973) This classic book builds on the psychological and philosophical works of Søren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, and Otto Rank.
Benjamin, Kathy. Funerals to Die For: The Craziest, Creepiest, and Most Bizarre Funeral Traditions and Practices Ever
(2013) The rich--and often, dark--history of funeral rites, customs, and trivia from around the globe.
Berman, Rochel U. Dignity beyond death: the Jewish preparation for burial
(2005) Examines the rituals of preparation of the dead in the Jewish tradition from the perspective of the volunteers, members of a community organization known as the Chevra Kadisha, or Sacred Society.
Blainey, Amanda. Do Death - For a life better lived
(2019) This practical guide by a social activist and hospice worker invites readers to accept death as a natural part of life, to think about what really matters, and to live more consciously.
Bowker, John. The Meanings of Death
(1991) Examining eastern and western religious and secular interpretations of death can reinforce and support the human response.
Brener, Anne. Mourning and Mitzvah: a guided journal for walking the mourner's path through grief to healing
Brown, Laura Krasny and Marc Brown. When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death
(1998) This children's book explains in simple language the many different feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.
Bryant, Clifton D. Handbook of Death & Dying
(2003) (Volume 1: The Presence of Death, Volume 2: The Response to Death) This expensive reference set, numbering1144 pages, includes over 100 articles by as many contributors about all aspects of death and dying, including comprehensive bibliographies.
Buchwald, Art. Too Soon to Say Goodbye
(2006) After the longtime humorist checked into a Washington, D.C. hospice in early 2006, he confounded medical prediction and rallied enough to write one more book of short, comic, sometimes slightly morbid vignettes.
Bulkeley, Kelly and Reverend Patricia Bulkley. Dreaming Beyond Death: A Guide to Pre-Death Dreams and Visions
(2005) A spiritual and intellectual framework contextualizes the practical advice and broader understanding to the role of dreams and dreaming in culture, history, psychology and modern dream study.
Burns, Stanley B. Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America
(1990) This collection of postmortem photography documents and celebrates photographs of a deceased loved one, a normal part of American and European culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Burt, Robert A. Death is That Man Taking Names: Intersections of American Medicine, Law, and Culture
(2002) This account of psychological and social forces underlying American cultural attitudes toward death maintains that unacknowledged ambivalence is likely to undermine the beneficent goals of post-1970s reforms and harm the very people these changes were intended to help.
Buskirk, Van JimDeath: A Selective Bibliography
Butler, Katy. The art of dying well : a practical guide to a good end of life
(2019) Inspired by a popular self-help book called Ars Moriendi, or The Art of Dying, written in Latin by an unnamed Catholic monk in the mid-1400s, which taught people how to navigate the trials of the deathbed, using simple rituals of repentance, reassurance, and letting go.
Butler, Katy. Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death
(2013) This eloquent exegesis on taking control of the end of one's life defines a "good death" as one that is free from unnecessary medical intervention and faced with acceptance and dignity.
Byock, Ira. Dying Well: Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life
(1998) Beginning with his own father's terminal illness, president-elect of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care details without scientific cant the process of decline that awaits most of us.
Byock, Ira. The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living
(2004) "Please forgive me." "I forgive you." "I love you." "Thank you." These simple statements can offer profound moments of grace, so consciously integrate them into our daily lives.
Callanan, Marjorie and Patricia Kelley. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying
(1992) Offers families, friends, and caregivers of terminally ill patients suggestions for facilitating a peaceful death with advice on listening to understand their dying needs.
Carlson, Lisa. Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love
(1997) This comprehensive guide for consumers making funeral arrangements with or without a funeral director contains detailed descriptions of the "tricks of the funeral trade", to avoid unwanted and overpriced goods and services, and how to file a complaint when subjected to unethical funeral home practices.
Carson, Denise. Parting ways: New Rituals and Celebrations of Life’s Passing
(2011) Investigates a variety of options that revise the impending-death scenario, including living funerals, oral ethical wills, and home funerals.
Chast, Roz. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (2014) Through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, the New Yorker cartoonist’s memoir of her aging and dying parents is both comfort and comic relief.
Chen, Pauline W. Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Morality
(2007) A physician struggles to reconcile the lessons of her training with her innate knowledge of shared humanity and to separate her ideas about healing from her fierce desire to cure.
Chodron, Pema. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
(2000) This collection of talks by the Buddhist author between 1987 and 1994 is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties.
Cobb, Nancy Howard. In Lieu of Flowers: A Conversation for the Living
(2002) These vividly evocative stories about encounters with grief opens us up to our own experiences, encouraging us to accept and honor the “divine intersections” where the living meet the dying.
Cochran, Deanna. Accompanying the Dying: Practical, Heart-Centered Wisdom for End-of-Life Doulas and Health Care Advocates
(2019) The newly emerging role of the “end-of-life doula,” a nonmedical role providing practical, emotional, and spiritual support to the dying and their family, can be a powerful solution to the looming crisis in health care as baby boomers and their elders age and die.
Cohen, Lewis M. A Dignified Ending: Taking Control Over How We Die
(2019) A psychiatrist and palliative medicine researcher reveals a self-determination movement that empowers people to shape the timing and circumstances of their deaths, decriminalizes laws threatening those who help them, and passes assisted dying legislature.
Cole, Roger. Mission of love: a physician's spiritual journey toward a life beyond
Corr, Charles A. Donna M. Corr, Kenneth J. Doka. Death & Dying, Life & Living
(8th Edition, 2018) This textbook teaches students how to navigate encounters with death, dying, and bereavement from a variety of cultural and religious perspectives.
Côté, Richard N. In Search of Gentle Death: The Fight for Your Right to Die with Dignity
(2012) Based on five years of intensive primary source research and more than one hundred interviews with pioneers, activists, physicians, nurses, hospice workers, and patients, this book explores the pioneering, highly pragmatic and practical work carried out by the international death-with-dignity movement over the last forty years.
Crawford, April. Parting Notes: A Connection With the Afterlife
(2002) An incredible collection of channeled letters from people who have passed over to the other side.
Crenshaw, James. Telephone Between Worlds
(1952) Profiles Richard Zenor, a medium who channeled the master teacher Agasha and founded the Agasha Temple of Wisdom.
Cullen, Melanie with Shae Irving. Get it Together: Organize Your Records so Your Family Won’t Have to
(2014) This Nolo press title helps one deal with finances, legal documents, online accounts, and medical care.
Davis, Greg. Grieving for Dummies
(2007) This book deals with a very important subject, grieving loss as a difficult yet transformative process, helping readers who are grieving the loss of a loved one as well as those who want to support them in this process.
Dear, Jennie. What Does It Feel Like to Die? Inspiring New Insights into the Experience of Dying
(2019) A long-time hospice volunteer, inspired by her mother’s illness and death, demystifies the process employing the expertise of doctors, nurses, caregivers, and patients.
DeLeo, Kirsten. Present through the End: A Caring Companion's Guide for Accompanying the Dying
(2019) Based on decades of experience caring for the dying and years teaching contemplative care around the world, this Buddhist teacher/counselor shares down-to-earth advice and offers short, simple tools to help handle our emotions, deal with difficult relationships, talk about spiritual matters, practice self-care, listen fully, and more.
Devine, Megan. It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
(2017) Having experienced grief as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner, Megan debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a middle path: to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it. A compelling and heartful book, written with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing.
Diamant, Anita. Saying Kaddish: how to comfort the dying, bury the dead, and mourn as a Jew
Didion, Joan. The Year of Magic Thinking
(2005) This taut, clear-eyed memoir of grief chronicles the year following the death of her husband, fellow writer John Gregory Dunne, from a massive heart attack.
Docker, Chris. Five Last Acts: The Exit Path: The Arts and Science of Rational Suicide in the face of unbearable, Unrelievable Suffering
(2013) This 752-page work examines in detail the many issues around self-deliverance, from a British perspective.
Doughtery, Ned. Fast Lane to Heaven: Celestial Encounters that Changed My Life
(2001) The author’s near-death experience opened the door to encounters with various aspects of the divine spirit, including the "Lady of Light," later identified as the Virgin Mary.
Doughty, Caitlin. From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
(2017) A sassy investigation of funerary history and culture around the world, including Indonesia, Spain, Bolivia, Japan, Mexico and throughout these United States.
Doughty, Caitlin. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory
(2014) The mortician, death theorist, blogger of the popular Web series “Ask a Mortician” and founder of Order of the Good Death demystifies her experiences working at a crematory.
Duda, Deborah. Coming Home: A Practical and Compassionate Guide to Caring for a Dying Loved One
(2010) First published in 1981, this groundbreaking step-by-step guide has been used to provide hospice staff and volunteers information, inspiration and sensitive yet straightforward answers to the possibility of dying at home.
Eadie, Betty J. Embraced by the Light (1992)
An inspirational map of the afterlife framed in the moment of Eadie's death, heavily filtered through her Christian worldview.
Ebenstein, Joanna. Death: A Graveside Companion
(2017) A compendium of the world’s most extraordinary artistic objects concerned with mortality, paired with text by expert contributors. This volume of sinister beauty from high and popular culture examines a range of cultural attitudes toward death.
Egan, Kerry. On Living
(2016) A hospice chaplain conveys wisdom on giving meaning to life, from those taking leave of it.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, The Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer
(2018) "A razor-sharp polemic, which offers an entirely new understanding of our bodies, ourselves and our place in the universe, describing how we over-prepare and worry too much about what is inevitable."
Ellison, Koshin Pale. ed., and Matt Weingast. Awake at the bedside: contemplative palliative and end-of-life care
(2016) "Pioneers of palliative and end-of-life care, as well as doctors, chaplains, caregivers and poets, offer wisdom that will challenge, uplift, comfort--and change the way we think about death. Equal parts instruction manual and spiritual testimony, it includes specific instructions and personal accounts to inspire, counsel, and teach."
Eumia, Molly. Safe Passage: Words to Help the Grieving
(1992) “Of all the literature about grief and grieving I was given, this marvelous and simple book hit home the most.”
Fenwick, Peter, and Elizabeth Fenwick. The Art of Dying: A Journey to Elsewhere
(2008) Accounts by dying and those with them contextualize the complex and confusing transition from life to death.
Fiore, Edith. The Unquiet Dead: A Psychologist Treats Spirit Possession - Detecting and Removing Earthbound Spirits
(1987) A noted psychologist uses case histories to explain how to detect spirit possession, how to protect oneself from entities, how to release one’s home from displaced spirits, and how to perform a depossession.
Gawande, Atul. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
(2014) A practicing surgeon addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families.
Giffels, David. Furnishing Eternity: A Father, a Son, a Coffin, and a Measure of Life
(2018) By lovingly and with dry humor tracing the process of coffin-making, the "bard of Akron, Ohio" lets the essence of himself and his father be revealed through action.
Goodman, Arnold M. A plain pine box: a return to simple Jewish funerals and eternal traditions
Gordon, Steve and Irene Kacandes. Let's Talk About Death: Asking the Questions that Profoundly Change the Way We Live and Die
(2015) The coauthors share the results of a no-holds-barred discussion conducted for several years over email tackling challenging questions about pain, caregiving, grief, and what comes after death.
Gorsuch, Neil M. The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
(2006) Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia, the U.S. Court of Appeals Judge builds a moral and legal argument against legalization, based on a principle that the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong.
Gray. John. The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death
(2011) An investigation of philosophers, journalists, politicians, charlatans and mass murderers, chiefly in Britain and Russia, who felt dangerously driven toward a scientific version of immortality.
Green, James W. Beyond the Good Death: The Anthropology of Modern Dying
(2008) This anthropological approach examines the changes in our concept of death over the last several decades.
Greyson, Bruce and Charles Flynn. The Near-Death Experience: Problems, Prospects, Perspectives
Grof, Stanislav. The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and the Mystery of Death
(2006) The renowned psychiatrist distills teachings from ancient wisdom and modern science that suggest how to face the process of death and dying.
Gubar, Susan. Memoir of a Debulked Woman: Enduring Ovarian Cancer
(2012) "The renowned feminist scholar explores the physical and psychological ordeal of living with illness."
Gutkind, Lee, ed. The End of Life: True Stories about How We Die
(2012) "These 22 personal-medical narratives explore death, dying, and palliative care, and reveal the inner workings of a system in which doctors, patients and their loved ones battle to hang on-- and to let go."
Halkin, Hillel. After One-Hundred-and-Twenty: Reflecting on Death, Mourning and the Afterlife in the Jewish Tradition
(2016) "A richly nuanced and deeply personal look at Jewish attitudes and practices regarding death, mourning and the afterlife as they have existed and evolved from biblical times to today."
Hallifax, Joan. Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death
(2008) Inspired by traditional Buddhist teachings, this work is a source of wisdom for those wishing to explore and contemplate the transformative power of the dying process.
Halpern, Susan. The Etiquette of Illness: What to Say When You Can't Find the Words
(2004) The psychotherapist, social worker and founder of the New York Cancer Help Program, shares her expertise on how to comfort anyone with a serious physical or mental illness.
Harmon, Louise. Fragments on the Deathwatch
(1998) Through literature, philosophy, history, and autobiography, the author. a legal scholar, delicately probes the taboos around discussions of death and considers whether the law can recognize the needs of families and loved ones and protect the space of their grieving.
Harrington, Samuel. At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life
(2018) Informed by more than thirty years of clinical practice as a hospice trustee and own experience with the aging and deaths of his parents, Dr. Harrington helps patients make appropriate end-of-life decisions.
Harris, Mark. Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial
(2007) An environmental journalist examines green burial, including natural cemeteries and domestic graveyards, boats from which ashes and memorial "reef balls" are cast into the sea, and attends a home funeral, follows a family that delivers a loved one to the crematory, and another that hires a carpenter to build a pine coffin.
Harrison, Robert Pogue. The Dominion of the Dead
(2003) "Explores the many places where the dead cohabit the world of the living—the graves, images, literature, architecture, and monuments that house the dead in their afterlife among us."
Harvey, Greg. Grieving for Dummies
(2007) This compassionate resource, by a hospice care volunteer. provides the plainspoken wisdom needed to move through the phases, stages, and tasks of grieving.
Hebb, Michael. Let's Talk about Death (over Dinner): An Invitation and Guide to Life's Most Important Conversation
(2018) Inspired by his experience with his own father and stories from others who regret not having these conversations, the cofounder of Death Over Dinner--an organization that encourages people to pull up a chair, break bread, and really talk about the one thing we all have in common.
Heilman, Samuel C. When a Jew dies: the ethnography of a bereaved son
(2001) (S. Mark Taper Foundation imprint in Jewish studies)
Hendin, David. Death as a Fact of Life
(1973) In this examination of dying and death a medical journalist discusses the moral and legal aspects of such advances (now dated) as transplants and freezing.
Hitchens, Christopher. Mortality
(2012) These seven essays first appeared in Vanity Fair concerning Hitchens' struggle with esophageal cancer to which he succumbed in December 2011. An additional chapter consists of unfinished "fragmentary jottings," as well as a foreword by Graydon Carter and an afterword by Hitchens' widow, Carol Blue.
Holecek, Andrew. Preparing to Die: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition
(2013) Maintaining that spiritual preparation for death can completely transform our relationship to the end of life
this book addresses practical concerns, including advance directives, green funerals, the signs of death, warnings about the funeral industry, the stages of grief, and practical care for the dying as well as heart-advice from twenty of the best-known Tibetan Buddhist masters now teaching in the West.
Hollis, Jennifer L. Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage
(2010) Using the voices of practitioners and patients, explores the role of music-thanatology, differentiated from music therapy, in end-of-life care.
Holloway, Karla F.C. Passed On: African American Mourning Stories, A Memorial
(2002) A poignant reflection and thorough investigation of the myths, rituals, economics, and politics of African American mourning and burial practices.
Humphry, Derek. Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying
(1991) This controversial book by the founder of the Hemlock Society in California and past president of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.
Humphry, Derek. Good Life, Good Death: The Memoir of a Right to Die Pioneer
(2017) Before his wife’s terminal illness ravaged his life, Humphry was a successful journalist, who went on to found the Hemlock Society, pioneered Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, and write the bestselling books Final Exit and Jean’s Way.
Inge, Denise. A Tour of Bones: Facing Fear and Looking for Life
(2015) Discovering her house is built on a crypt of human skeletons, the author visits other European charnel houses. Her journey into the meaning of bones themselves takes on a new, personal significance when the question of living well in the face of mortality abruptly ceases to be hypothetical.
Iserson, Kenneth V. Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies?
(2001) Using a "Death for Dummies" format, this book's over 800 pages address many, many items of information about death, historically and contemporarily.
Jamison, Stephen. Final Acts of Love: Families, Friends, and Assisted Dying
(1995) A compassionate guide to making a most difficult choice, a member of the Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization and consultant to the Hemlock Society of Northern California offers specific guidelines for making a well-reasoned, intelligent, and humane decision, without advocating a specific course of action.
Jamison, Stephen. Assisted Suicide: A Decision-Making Guide for Health Professionals
(1997) Written with compassion and understanding, this is the first work to offer physicians and mental health professionals specific, concrete guidelines on counseling and assisting patients who are considering suicide.
Jenkinson, Stephen. Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul
(2015) Framing dying well as a moral, political, and spiritual obligation to our ancestors and ours heirs, this book encourages us to look at the inevitable in all its painful beauty.
Johnson, Marilyn. The dead beat: lost souls, lucky stiffs, and the perverse pleasures of obituaries
(2006) "Surveying the darkest corners of Internet chat rooms, surviving a mass gathering of obituarists, and making a pilgrimage to London to savor the most caustic and literate obits of all, Marilyn Johnson leads us into the cult and culture behind the obituary page."
Jokinen, Tom. Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training
(2010) A Canadian journalist in Winnipeg taking "a month's leave to dabble in deathcare" reveals the changing face of the funeral industry.
Johns, Fran Moreland. Dying Unafraid
(1999) While a hospice volunteer, the investigative reporter interviewed individuals who faced death without fear.
Johnson, Christopher Jay & Marsha G. McGee, eds. How different religions view death & afterlife
(1998, 2nd ed.) A practical explanation of the beliefs of 19 different religions, including a comparative section of "questions and answers about death and afterlife".
Jones, Karen. Death for Beginners: Your No-Nonsense, Money-Saving Guide to Planning for the Inevitable
(2010) A humorous, concise source of the wide range of options for burial, cremations, organ donation, wills, including practical worksheets.
Joseph, Eve. In the Slender Margin: The Intimate Strangeness of Death and Dying
(2014) Poet and palliative care counselor Joseph offers "an intimate invitation to consider death and our response to it without fear or morbidity, but rather with wonder and a curious mind."
Kagan, Annie. The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death
(2013) One of the most detailed after death communications (ADC)'s ever recorded takes the reader beyond the near-death experience with a vivid, real-time account of Billy's on-going journey through the mysteries of death.
Kagan, Shelly. Death (The Open Yale Courses Series)
(2012) A philosophy professor examines the myriad questions that arise when confronting the meaning of mortality.
Kalanithi, Paul. When Breath Becomes Air
(2016) This memoir by an Indian-American neurosurgeon and writer about his life and battle against stage IV metastatic lung cancer was posthumously published.
Karnes, Barbara. Gone from My Sight: The Dying Experience
(1986) Referred to as the “Hospice Blue Book,” this 15-page pamphlet explains in a simple, gentle yet direct manner the process of dying from disease.
Kaufman, Sharon R. ...And a Time to Die: How Hospitals Shape the End of Life
(2006) A medical anthropologist examines hospitals, as a way to investigate how the advent of medical technology capable of sustaining life without restoring health has changed where, when, and how we die.
Kelly, Suzanne. Greening Death: Reclaiming Burial Practices and Restoring Our Tie to the Earth
(2015) Traces the philosophical and historical underpinnings of the Green Burial Movement, captures the passionate on-the-ground work, and explores the obstacles and other challenges getting in the way of more robust mobilization. As the movement lays claim to greener, simpler, and more cost-efficient practices, a tangible way of restoring our relationship to nature is being offered up.
Kelman, Stuart. Chesed shel emet: The truest act of kindness
Kessler, David. Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die
(2011) These powerful stories from the bedsides of the dying educate, enlighten, and comfort, as they explain and explore that what might seem like hallucinations are actually something else.
Keyssar, Judith Redwing. Last acts of kindness: lessons for the living from the bedsides of the dying
(2010) This lovely book recounts twenty-seven moving true stories from hospitals, residential facilities, and homes, revealing the challenges and rewards that face the dying, their loved ones, and the professionals who care for them and encouraging us to consider our own beliefs about the great questions of life and death.
Kick, Russ, ed. Death Poems: classic, contemporary, witty, serious, tear-jerking, wise, profound, angry, funny, spiritual, atheistic, uncertain, personal, political, mythic, earthy, and only occasionally morbid.
(2013) Over 320 poems collected across time, countries, languages, and schools of poetry.
Kiernan, Stephen P. Last Rights: Rescuing the End of life from the Medical System
(2006) With candor, clarity, and an advocate's sense of urgency, investigates why our acute-care system has been so resistant to change and how we can infuse greater humanity to life's final chapter.
Koudounaris, Paul. Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us
(2015) These photos taken at over 250 sites in thirty countries over a decade are as much a reminder of life, memento vitae, as of death, memento mori.
Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death and Dying
(1969) The classic introduction to the five stages of grief, a series of emotional stages experienced by survivors: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Kuhl, David. What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom for The End of Life
(2003) Dr. Kuhl addresses end-of-life realities--practical, psychological, spiritual and emotional--through his own experiences as a doctor and through the words and experiences of people who knew that they were dying.
Laderman, Gary. Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America
(2005) Traces the origins of American funeral rituals, from the evolution of embalming techniques during and after the Civil War and the shift from home funerals to funeral homes at the turn of the century, to the increasing subordination of priests, ministers, and other religious figures to the funeral director throughout the twentieth century. Far from manipulating vulnerable mourners, funeral directors are shown to be highly respected figures whose services reflect the community's deepest needs and wishes.
Lamott, Anne. Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair
(2013) Explores how we find meaning and peace when life lurches out of balance; where we start again after personal and public devastation; how we recapture wholeness after loss; and how we locate our true identities in this frazzled age.
Lee, Barbara Coombs. Finish Strong: Putting YOUR Priorities First at Life's End
(2019) A former nurse, physician assistant and attorney and a leading advocate for end-of-life options in her role as president of Compassion & Choices, offers astute, critical, clarifying stories, facts and dialogue to help prepare for one's end-of-life with purpose, grace and dignity.
Levine, Stephen. A Year to Live: How to Live this Year as if it were your Last
(1997) Levine provides us with a year-long program of intensely practical strategies and powerful guided meditations to help with this work, so that whenever the ultimate moment does arrive for each of us, we will not feel that it has come too soon.
Levine, Stephen. Who Dies?: An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying
(1986) A classic on spiritual awakening and how the awareness of death process is an essential aspect of becoming fully human and enlightened.
Lewis, C.S. A Grief Observed
(1961) Written after his wife's death, this short book is an honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss.
Lifton, Robert Jay. The Broken Connection: On Death and the Continuity of Life
(1996) The psychiatrist explores the inescapable connections between death and life, the psychiatric disorders that arise from these connections, and the advent of the nuclear age which has jeopardized attempts to ensure the perpetuation of the self beyond death.
Lind-Kyle, Patt. Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening
(2017) The idea of death is presented as a journey of three steps―resistance, letting go, and transcendence. Exercises and practices supplemented with online meditations explore chakras, Enneagram, health care directives and living wills to help achieve one's truest, most expansive self.
Lipsenthal, Lee. Enjoy Every Sandwich: Living Each Day as If It Were Your Last
(2011) Diagnosed with esophageal cancer, Lipsenthal and his wife, Kathy, navigated his illness, and treatment, discovering that he did not fear death, that even as he was facing his own mortality, he felt more fully alive than ever before.
Longaker, Christine. Facing Death and Finding Hope
(1997) After her 24-year old husband was diagnosed with acute leukemia, Longaker devoted her life to ease the suffering of those facing death. She identifies the typical fears and struggles experienced by the dying and their families as "Four Tasks of Living and Dying," using the Tibetan Buddhist perspective on death to provide a new framework of meaning that can be applied to every type of caregiving setting.
Lynch, Thomas. The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade
(1997) Eloquent, meditative observations on the place of death in small-town life, from the only poet/funeral director in Milford, Michigan.
McKay, Matthew. Seeking Jordan: How I Learned the Truth about Death and the Invisible Universe
(2016) Using the technique of Induced After-Death Communication and channeled writing, Clinical psychologist McKay receives revelations directly from his murdered son Jordan about past- and between-lives, karma, soul guides, and more.
McKenzie, Kenneth and Todd Harra. Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
(2010) This collection of accounts from mortuary professionals is both poignant and funny.
McKenzie, Kenneth and Todd Harra. Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift the Lid
(2014) More stories from mortuary professionals.
Magnusson, Margareta. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter
(2018) Döstädning (decluttering in Swedish), the process of clearing out unnecessary belongings, can be undertaken at any life stage This joyous guide for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the idea of letting go uplifting rather than overwhelming.
Mangalik, Aroop. Dealing with Doctors, Denial and Death
(2019) A retired oncologist and an ethicist explains some of the influences that may prompt physicians to recommend futile treatments for patients facing serious illnesses for which the path to wellness is unclear and describes specific ways of obtaining information to get a clear idea of all available options.
Mannix, Kathryn. With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial
(2018) A palliative care physician "describes the possibility of meeting death gently, with forethought and preparation, and shows the unexpected beauty, dignity, and profound humanity of life coming to an end."
Martin, Joel and Patricia Romanowski. We Don't Die: George Anderson’s Conversations with the Other Side
(1989) Gifted with the ability to communicate with spirits "on the other side," Anderson offers documented evidence of his powers through readings and scientific tests.
Matlin, Stuart M., ed. The perfect stranger's guide to funerals and grieving practices: a guide to etiquette in other people's religious ceremonies
(2000) A compendium of 38 religious traditions, specifically focusing on etiquette at funerals and grieving practices.
Metzner, Ralph. The Life Cycle of the Human Soul: Incarnation -- Conception -- Birth -- Death -- Hereafter --Reincarnation
(2011) "A radical empiricist in the tradition of William James" discusses "the experience of life before birth, and the experience of life after death of the physical body."
Miller, BJ, and Shoshana Berger. A Beginner's Guide to the End : Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death
(2019) A hospice physician and an experienced caregiver/journalist offer a detailed action plan for approaching the end of life to help readers feel more in control of an experience that so often seems anything but controllable.
Mitchell, James B. Understanding Assisted Suicide: Nine Issues to Consider
(2007) A Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law and a Reform Jew uses his own experience watching both his parents die, to ask fundamental questions about death, dying, religion, and the role of medicine and technology in alleviating human suffering.
Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Death
(1963) The classic exposé of abuses in the American funeral home industry.
Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Death Revisited
(1998) At the time of her death in 1996, Mitford had nearly completed this extensive revision of her 1963 bestseller, with subsequent additions by her husband, lawyer Robert Treuhaft, Lisa Carlson, an activist in the funeral-reform movement, and research assistant Karen Leonard.
Moller, David Wendell. Confronting Death: Values, Institutions, and Human Mortality
(1996) Critiques how modern technology and bureaucracy, along with professionalization, have come to dehumanize the experience of death for both the dying and their survivors.
Monroe, Robert. Far Journeys
(1992) The sequel to Monroe's Journey Out of The Body reflects a decade of research into the psychic realm beyond the known dimensions of physical reality.
Moorjani, Anita. Dying to be Me: My Journey from Cancer to Near Death, to True Healing
(2012) Influenced by traditional Hindu religious and cultural customs, Moorjani was unprepared for her Near-Death Experience from cancer, candidly sharing what she has learned about illness, healing, fear, and "being love."
Mord, Jack. Beyond the Dark Veil: Post Mortem & Mourning Photography from The Thanatos Archive
(2014) Catalog of a 2013 exhibition at Cal State University Fullerton offers 120 extraordinary and haunting photographs and related ephemera documenting the practice of death and mourning photography in the Victorian Era and early twentieth century.
Morgan, Ernest. Dealing Creatively with Death: A Manual of Death Education and Simple Burial
(14th rev. ed., 2001) A practical guidebook offering social, emotional, philosophical, and practical perspectives on a wide variety of issues related to death and dying.
Moore, Virginia. Ho for Heaven: Man’s Changing Attitude toward Death
(1946) Explores international rites and beliefs and symbols which convey the responses of peoples as they changed through the ages.
Morhaim, Dan. The Better End: Surviving (and Dying) on Your Own Terms in Today's Modern Medical World
(2019) A practicing physician and Maryland state legislator guides readers through the medical and legal maze of end-of-life care.
Morris, Virginia. Talking about Death
(2004) Demystifies and deconstructs assumptions about the complicated process of dying with refreshingly direct prose, interweaving personal stories with practical matters.
Morse, Melvin. Transformed By the Light: The Powerful Effect of Near-Death Experiences on People's Lives
(1992) The continuation of a comforting, yet scientific, probe into the mysteries of death, which began in Closer to the Light, reveals that people who have had Near-Death Experiences manifest a heightened appetite for life.
Murray, Sarah. Making an Exit: From the Magnificent to the Macabre, How We Dignify the Dead
(2011) A deeply personal quest for her own final send-off leads to a series of journeys to discover how death is commemorated in different cultures.
Neal, Mary C. To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story
(2012) An account of the orthopedic surgeon’s spiritual journey, after drowning in a kayak accident, as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again.
Neumann, Ann. The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America
(2016) Intimate portraits of the nurses, patients, bishops, bioethicists, and activists offer a fearless examination of how we approach death, and how those of us close to dying loved ones live in death’s wake.
Newton, Michael. Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives
(2011) These 29 case studies recall experiences between physical deaths.
Nitschke, Philip, and Fiona Stewart. The Peaceful Pill Handbook
(2006) Australian doctors provide very specific information on assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, including hypoxic death using an exit bag and various drug options. Also available in digital format.
Nogrady, Bianca. The End: The Human Experience of Death
(2014) Explores the experience of death from spiritual, historical, physical, and metaphysical perspectives, from the perspective of witnesses, those facing death, and those who have somehow stepped back from it.
Nouwen, Henri. Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
(1994) A meditative book on Christian ideals of death as a gift, an opportunity to impart hope to those around us, whether through our own dying or in our caretaking of someone else.
Noys, Benjamin. The Culture of Death
(2005) A thought-provoking book on the cultural change of death in contemporary western culture.
Nuland, Sherwin B. How We Die: Reflections of Life’s Final Chapter
(1994) The physician draws on his own experience to explain to patient, family and caregivers the clinical, biological and emotional details of dying.
O’Rourke, Michelle. Befriending Death: Henri Nouwen and a Spirituality of Dying
(2009) The words of Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor and writer Henri Nouwen, offer an inspiring and life-transforming guide to the ultimate mystery of human existence.
Ostaseski, Frank. The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully
(2017) The co-founder of the Zen Hospice Project and the Metta Institute, a Buddhist teacher, and a leading voice in contemplative end-of-life care has distilled the lessons gleaned over the course of his career into a powerful and inspiring exploration of the essential wisdom dying can impart about how to forge rich and meaningful lives.
Panofsky, Erwin. Tomb sculpture: four lectures on its changing aspects from ancient Egypt to Bernini
(1992) Examples of the art form that has existed since the dawn of civilization, its imagery expressing humankinds hopes and fears in the face of death, and the striving for immortality.
Pattison, E. Mansell. The Experience of Dying
(1977) Dr. Pattison and other contributors from the fields of psychiatry, neurology and pediatrics offer objective and subjective outlooks on the processes of dying.
Pausch, Randy. The Last Lecture
(2008) A computer science professor recently diagnosed with terminal cancer offers "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment.
Pelgrin, Mark. And a Time to Die
(1962) Compiled and edited from personal journals and letters by Dr. Sheila Moon and Dr. Elizabeth B. Howes, "...the account of one man's prodigious search for meaning in his own life an approaching death."
Portwood, Doris. Common Sense Suicide: The Final Right
Potter, Peter, comp. All About Death
(1988) A compilation of hundreds of thoughts and observations on various aspects of Death in the form of aphorisms and short quotations from great thinkers across the centuries.
Puri, Sunita. That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour
(2019) This palliative care physician interweaves evocative stories of her family and the patients she cares for in a meditation on impermanence and the role of medicine in helping us to live and die well, arming readers with information that will transform how we communicate with our doctors about what matters most to us.
Quill, Timothy. Death and Dignity: Making Choices and Taking Charge
(1993) Looking squarely at how patients can make crucial decisions and take charge of the end of their lives, this book is a resource for anyone who fears unnecessary suffering and excessive medical intervention at that point.
Ram Dass. Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying
(2000) Revised and edited after the author’s debilitating stroke, this philosophy for aging teaches how to diminish our suffering despite the aches, pains, and limitations of age.
Ray, Ruth E. Endnotes: an intimate look at the end of life
(2008) A 40-year-old gerontologist enters into a romantic relationship with an octogenarian widower confronting Parkinson's, exploring past experiences and present relationships within the theories and literature of gerontology, and providing a deeper understanding of autonomy at the end of life.
Richelieu, Peter. A Soul's Journey
(2011) The story of a young Englishman in India given the opportunity by an ascended master to travel out of his body and meet wondrous beings on the astral plane.
Riggs, Nina. The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying
(2017) "An exquisite memoir about how to live—and love—every day with “death in the room,” from a poet, mother of two young sons and direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air."
Ring, Kenneth. Heading Toward Omega: In Search of the Meaning of the Near-Death Experience
Ring, Kenneth. Lessons From the Light: What we can learn from the near-death experience
(1998) A balance of sound research and human insight to reveal the practical wisdom held within this collection of accounts of near-death experiences.
Roach, Mary. Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife
(2005) This exploration of the afterlife is loaded with unusual historical facts, oddball encounters and humorous observations.
Roach, Mary. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
(2003) Informative and respectful, irreverent and witty, the Salon columnist explains what really happens to a body that is donated to the scientific community.
Rogak, Lisa. Death Warmed Over: Funeral Food, Rituals, and Customs from Around the World
(2004) The death rituals of more than 100 ethnic, cultural and religious groups are arranged alphabetically from "African American" to "Zoroastrianism" including a one-page explanation and a recipe for each culture.
Roiphe, Katie. The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End
(2016) Investigates the last days of Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, Dylan Thomas, John Updike, Maurice Sendak, and James Salter.
Rubin, Gail. A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die
(2011). This practical guide provides the information, inspiration and tools to plan and implement creative, meaningful and memorable end-of-life rituals for people and pets.
Sabom, Michael B. Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation
(2003) The cardiologist's study convinced him of the reality of out-of-body experiences. He concluded that the mind was an entity distinct from the brain and that the near-death crisis caused the mind and brain to split apart for a brief time.
Salazar, Gloria and Louis. Grave Reflections
(2011) Outlines the many funeral options facing families when a death has occurred, and explores the factors that motivate our decisions.
Samuel, Julia. Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving
(2017) This grief psychotherapist, who worked with the bereaved for twenty-five years, understands the full repercussions of loss. Full of psychological insights on how grief, if approached correctly, can heal us.
Schwartz, Gary E. The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death
(2002) "A scientist's personal journey from skepticism to wonder and awe provides astonishing answers to a timeless question: Is there life after death?"
Schwartzman, Arnold. Graven images: graphic motifs of the Jewish grave stone
(1993) Over two hundred color photographs of Jewish tombstones in 38 European cemeteries with explanatory captions decoding graphic symbols and motifs that illuminate Jewish history and lore.
Segal. Alan F. Life after Death: A History of Afterlife in the Religions of the West
(2010) Weaving together biblical and literary scholarship, sociology, history, and philosophy, Segal examines the many different ways ancient civilizations grappled with the question of what exactly happens to us after we die.
Shacter, Phyllis. Choosing To Die: A Personal Story: Elective Death by Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) in the Face of Degenerative Disease
(2017) This memoir and guidebook follows the journey taken by the author after her husband, Alan, decided to VSED to avoid living into the late stages of Alzheimer's disease. How they prepared themselves with proper medical and legal guidance, every detail of what happened during the nine-and-a-half days it took for him to die, and how the experience transformed Phyllis.
Shavelson, Lonny. A Chosen Death: The Dying Confront Assisted Suicide
(1995) An emergency-room physician and photojournalist in Berkeley, Calif., advocates physician-assisted suicide as an option for people who want to end the agony of a prolonged illness-but only after all other options, including hospice care, have been explored.
Shields, David. The Thing About Life is that One Day You'll Be Dead
(2008) Personal anecdote, biological fact, philosophical doubt, cultural criticism, and the wisdom of an eclectic range of writers and thinkers are woven together into a hilarious family portrait and a meditation on mortality.
Siegel, Marvin. The Last Word: The New York Times Book of Obituaries and Farewells
(1997) "A fascinating compilation of more than one hundred of the most colorful, entertaining and touching obits and farewells that have appeared in The Times in the last few years."
Singh, Kathleen Dowling. The Grace in Aging: Awaken as You Grow Older
(2014) A practical guide, ecumenical in spirit, tone, and language, for those seeking greater meaning and fulfillment as they edge toward life’s grand finale.
Singh, Kathleen Dowling. The Grace in Dying: How We Are Transformed Spiritually as We Die
(1998) The hospice worker, with training in psychology and an avid interest in Eastern religion, offers an honest, comforting approach to death and dying.
Slocum, Joshua, and Lisa Carlson. Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death
(2011) Leaders of the funeral consumer movement expose the pervasive misdeeds of the industry, inform families of their rights, and urge legal reforms.
Smartt, Lisa. Words at the threshold : what we say as we're nearing death
(2017) Collecting over a hundred case studies with interviews and transcripts. the founder of the Final Words Project decodes the symbolism of the near-death utterances, showing how the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own.
Smith, Fran and Sheila Himmel. Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End-of-Life Care and the Hospice Movement
(2013) A fascinating exploration of the hospice movement as a philosophy and program that maximizes the quality of remaining life by delivering compassionate care with a holistic approach.
Smith, Suzanne E. To Serve the Living: Funeral Directors and the African American Way of Death
(2010) A historical account of African American funeral directors as entrepreneurs in a largely segregated trade, among the few black individuals in any community who were economically independent and not beholden to the local white power structure, allowing them to support the struggle for civil rights.
Soffer, Rebecca and Gabrielle Birkner. Modern Loss: Candid conversations about grief. Beginners welcome
(2018) "A fresh and irreverent examination into navigating grief and resilience in the age of social media, offering comfort and community for coping with the mess of loss through candid original essays from a variety of voices..."
Sogyal, Rinpoche. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
(1992) A presentation of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead or Bardo Thodol.
Solomon, Sheldon, Jeff Greenberg & Tom Pyszczynski. The worm at the core: on the role of death in life
(2015) The product of twenty-five years of in-depth research drawing from innovative experiments conducted around the globe, the authors show the effects of the fear of death and the desire to transcend it.
Speerstra Karen, and Herbert Anderson. The Divine Art of Dying: how to live well while dying
(2014) Combining personal stories with solid research on palliative and hospice care, this book investigates the unique moment when seriously ill people choose to turn toward death and provides a well-integrated look at the spiritual dimensions of living fully when death is near.
Storm, Howard. My Descent into Death: a second chance at life
(2005) A first-person report of a near death experience from the perspective of an atheist who eventual becomes a pastor in the United Church of Christ.
Tanaka, Ken with David Ury. Everybody Dies: A Children's Book for Grown-Ups
(2014) A macabre and darkly humorous look at mortality in the vein of the classic Japanese children’s book Everybody Poops.
Taylor, Cory. Dying: A Memoir
(2017) Written in the space of a few weeks, at the age of sixty while dying of melanoma-related brain cancer, Taylor offers a clear-eyed account of what dying teaches: the tangle of her feelings, remembering the lives and deaths of her parents, and why she would like to be able to choose the circumstances of her death.
Tisdale, Sallie. Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them): A Practical Perspective on Death and Dying
(2018) More than a how-to manual or a spiritual bible, this is a graceful compilation of intimate anecdotes from cultures, traditions, and literature around the world, based on the deaths Tisdale has witnessed, recounted a calm, wise, honest and humorous hand.
Tolstoy, Leo. The Death of Ivan Ilyich
(1886) The novella, ostensibly about the death of a high-court judge in 19th-century Russia, is also about the consequences of living without meaning.
Tucker, Jim B. Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives
(2005) A collection of 2,500 cases at the University of Virginia examining research into children's reports of past-life memories.
van Lommel, Pim. Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience
Van Scoy, Lauren. Last Wish: Stories to Inspire a Peaceful Passing
(2012) A physician offers a thoughtful resource to plan for end-of-life medical treatment including defining each individual’s quality of life and urging communication.
Walsch, Neale Donald. Home with God: In a Life that Never Ends
(2006) The final installment of the series Conversations with God: "through his profound and personal dialogue with God, Walsch explores the process by which all human beings end their days here on Earth and begin their new life in God's Kingdom..."
Wanzer, Sidney and Joseph Glenmullen. To Die Well: Your Right to Comfort, Calm and Choice in the Last Days of Life
(2007) The former head of Harvard University Law School Health Services and leader in the right-to-die movement joins with a Harvard Medical School faculty member to advocate measures that allow patients to control decisions about end-of-life treatment and ensure a peaceful death.
Ware, Bronnie. The top five regrets of the dying: a life transformed by the dearly departing
(2015) A memoir of her life, work as a palliative care nurse, and how she was transformed through the regrets of the dying people she cared for.
Warraich, Haider. Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life
(2017) Delving into a vast body of social, religious, financial, geographical and medical research, this cardiologist provides an accessibly enriched understanding of how dying has changed historically.
Wasserman, Emily. Gravestone designs: rubbings and photographs from early New York & New Jersey
(1972) Black and white images document the special craft of gravestone cutting, which flourished in the American Colonies from 1650 to 1700.
Waugh, Evelyn. The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy
(1948) A short satirical novel about the funeral business in Los Angeles, the British expatriate community in Hollywood, and the film industry.
Webster, Robert. Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked? Field Notes from a Funeral Director
(2007) A funeral director offers entertaining and quirky stories gleaned from a life lived around death.
Weinstein Miriam. All Set for Black, Thanks: A New Look at Mourning
(2016) A collection of humorous personal essays about death, through a wry, resilient, wise lens.
Weiseltier, Leon. Kaddish
(1998) Beside his father's grave, a diligent but doubting son begins the mourner's kaddish, and realizes he needs to know more about the prayer issuing from his lips. So begins the spiritual journal of a man commanded by Jewish law to recite a prayer three times daily for a year and driven, by the ardor of inquiry, to explore its origins.
Weiss, Brian L. Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives
(1988) A traditional psychotherapist, skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks, was astonished when she began to channel messages from the “space between lives,” containing revelations about Dr. Weiss’ family and his dead son.
Welch, H. Gilbert. Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions that Drive Too Much Medical Care
(2015) Fascinating and amusing stories backed by reliable data challenges patients and the health-care establishment to potentially save money and improve health outcomes for all.
Whitton, Joel & Joe Fisher. Life Between Life: Scientific Explorations into the Void Separating One Incarnation from the Next
(1986) Documents the often elusive periods between incarnations, based on 13 years of research and more than 30 medical case histories, and drawing upon the revolutionary technique of hypnotic regression.
Williams-Murphy, Monica, and Kristian Murphy. It's OK to Die
(2011) This practical guide by an ER doctor offers insights and suggestions on how prepare for the inevitable.
Winik, Marion. The Big Book of the Dead
(2019) Approaching mourning and memory with intimacy, humor, and an eye for the idiosyncratic, this collection of portraits of the dead, often called obituaries, is an unusual, richly populated memoir of compressed narratives. This volume combines the Glen Rock Book of the Dead and Baltimore Book of the Dead, with twelve additional vignettes.
Wright, Roberta Hughes and Wilbur B. Hughes, III. Lay Down Body: Living History in African American Cemeteries
(1996) A glimpse into some of the oldest and most fundamental values of African American culture, many of which are preserved only in cemeteries.
Young, Kevin, ed. The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing
(2010) An anthology of 150 "devastatingly beautiful contemporary elegies that embrace the pain, heartbreak, and healing stages of mourning."
Zitter, Jessica Nutik. Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life
(2017) This thoughtful first-hand perspective evaluates the balance between her training as an ICU physician and a palliative care physician.
Barens, Edgar. Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
(40 min. 2014) This powerful HBO documentary chronicles the final months in the life of a terminally ill maximum security prisoner and the hospice volunteers, they themselves prisoners, who care for him.
Bernhagen, Mike and Terry Kaldhusdal. Consider the Conversation: A Documentary on a Taboo Subject
(60 min. 2011)
Consider the Conversation 2: Stories about Cure, Relief, and Comfort
(86 min. 2014) Explores some of the unintended consequences of American medicine's success and sheds light on the important role of the patient/doctor relationship and communication.
Browne, Amy, and Tony Hale, Jeremy Kaplan, Brian Wilson. A Will For the Woods
(93 min. 2014) Determined that his last act will be a gift to the planet, musician and psychiatrist Clark Wang prepares for his own green burial.
Bruno, Ellen. Sky Burial
(12 min. 2005) Follows the ritual of “jha-tor”, the giving of alms to birds in a northern Tibetan monastery – where bodies of the dead are offered to the vultures as a final act of kindness to living beings.
Dillingham, Gay. Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary
(95 min. 2015) An intimate portrait celebrating two complex controversial cultural icons in an epic friendship that shaped a generation, instigated by Leary’s impending death.
Epstein, Rob, Rob and Jeffrey Friedman. End Game
(40 min. 2018) A rare glimpse into the intimate, usually private, conversations as several patients deal with difficult end-of-life decisions. B.J. Miller, hospice and palliative care specialist at University of California San Francisco Medical Center, and the Zen Hospice Project, gently facilitates questions to which the answers are unknown.
Jennings, Thomas. Being Mortal
(50 min. 2015) Based on Atul Gawande's book, this Frontline documentary showing how many doctors and patients struggle to talk honestly and openly about end of life issues.
Krauss, Dan. Extremis
(24 min., 2016) This intense documentary packs a lot into its succinct 24 minutes, closely following the family of two patients, as physicians Jessica (Extreme Measures) Zitter and Monica Bhargava wrestle with care options.
Lopez, Trina. A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco's Lost Cemeteries
(46 min. 2005) The hidden history of how acres of burial grounds in the center of the city were unceremoniously closed, the bodies (mostly) exhumed and relocated to Colma.
Moyers, Bill. On Our Own Terms
(348 min. 2011) The renowned journalist interviews dozens of terminally ill patients in this four-part program to explain the complex concepts and choices that surround "a good death."
Navasky, Miri and Karen O'Connor. The Undertaking
(60 min. 2007) Thomas Lynch is a writer, poet, and funeral director in a small central Michigan town where he and his family have cared for the dead and the living -- for three generations.
Richardson, Peter. How to Die in Oregon
(107 min. 2010) The powerful and poignant film follows several terminally ill patients as they exercise the state's historic and controversial Death with Dignity Act, which legalizes physician aid-in-dying.
Schlitz, Marilyn and Deepak Chopra. Death Makes Life Possible: Transforming the Fear of Death into an Inspiration for Living and Dying Well
(58 min. 2015) Sparked by her own near-death experience as a teenager, Cultural anthropologist, and scientist Schlitz explores the nature of consciousness and the mysteries of life and death from a variety of perspectives and world traditions.
Shen, Patrick. Flight from Death
(85 min. 2004) Explores human beings' innate and subconscious fear of death and portrays the impacts of that fear on our behavior, specifically in regard to violence.
Westrate, Elizabeth. A Family Undertaking
(60 min. 2004) This POV episode explores the growing trend of the home funeral movement.
Wilson, Tim. Griefwalker
(70 min. 2008) Stephen Jenkinson, once the leader of a palliative care counselling team has made it his life's mission to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life.