Facing Death, Exploring Life | BOOK
Facing Death, Exploring Life
by Grace Johnston
We will all die one day. Even when we feel immortal, our bodies are nonetheless on the journey towards dying, whether we want to acknowledge it or not.
Drawing heavily on real people’s stories, Facing Death Exploring Life examines the emotional and spiritual journey individuals traverse in the weeks and months leading up to dying. In doing this it demonstrates the power of story and aims to show how important reflecting on our own life story is in this process. It also provides guidance for how this life review process can be achieved, both privately and with the help of others.
Written with an understanding of the importance of preparing one’s soul for the process of dying, this book aims to help people overcome their fear of dying and enable them to be with those who are dying in a way that supports that person in a more mature and compassionate way.
Wilkinson Publishing, March 2021
Paperback | 288 pages
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grace Johnston has been a member of Rosa Veritas for more than 35 years and draws on and incorporates the richness of that experience in her work and writing.
Grace is a writer and spiritual carer who has spent her life working, one way or another, with people going through major, often paradigm-shifting change. Her fascination with people and their stories was apparent in her first real job in her early 20s – as a journalist specialising in so-called ‘human interest’ stories. This interest took her, in the ensuing years, on a broad exploration which included psychology, change management and the nature of work, the ancient wisdom teachings and much more.
Now in her mid-70s, Grace’s work life has included television and print-journalism, change management roles, counselling and the training and job placement of mature-aged unemployed people. In her later 60s, she was accepted as a pastoral/spiritual care intern at Australia’s foremost cancer hospital and now offers a Dignity Therapy Life Reflection service to the hospital, predominantly for people in the latter stages of life.
Grace’s first book, Aligning Your Work & Purpose, was published in 2000, and she has since written several others including the What’s Good For You companion series to the television show of the same name, and books on job search in a changing work world. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, and enjoys watching four grandchildren ‘unfold’ as they move through the various stages of childhood.
Part 1: Death and dying
Are death and dying scary?
What’s the dying process like?
Can out-of-body and near-death experiences teach us about dying?
Grief and the great work of letting go
When we’re doing, what we believe and what we value matter
Is age important when death beckons?
Banishing the elephants in the room
Part 2: Our one stories matter more than we think
Our own stories matter … especially as life is coming to a close
Story is part of what makes us human
Capturing the thread of life
Looking into the mirror of memory
Capturing the story of end-of-life
Listening to the story – how and for what
Part 3: Some afterthoughts
Some spiritual perspectives
The final chapter – tidying up some loose ends
Death, life, dying, preparing your soul, overcoming fear, memory