Insights into what people experience as they die.
"The paranormal or spiritual experience comes unbidden," writes Pearson (A Brief History of Anxiety…Yours and Mine, 2009, etc.), and yet many people are skeptical when they hear someone talking about a psychic event, a clairvoyant moment or a near-death experience. Mystified by her own encounters with the paranormal initiated by the deaths of her sister and father, Pearson set out to unravel some of the marvels surrounding death. With straightforward prose, the author examines these phenomena, particularly those moments when loved ones were close to dying and suddenly seemed at peace and happy as they acknowledged their progression from this state of being to another. Using interviews with hospice nurses, medical professionals and ordinary people from all walks of life, Pearson carefully lays out the details of each encounter. The sense of peace and unconditional love is a universal theme, as well as the healing and comforting white light associated with visions of God or other deities. Some people discuss how they knew through dreams that a loved one had just died or was on the verge of death. Others talk of seeing their bodies on operating tables or in perilous situations and yet feeling calm and in control. The author explores the unknown with genuine sincerity, providing a perspective that is informative and yet a bit awed at the prospect that there is something beyond what we experience in this realm. "Whatever the phenomenon is,” she writes, “it is extraordinary and transformative, and propels human beings far beyond what endorphin rushes or tricks of the optic nerve could ever achieve." Readers will be humbled and filled with a sense of hope rather than fear as they realize that the deaths of loved ones, or even their own deaths, are not losses, but simply transitions.
A fascinating and candid analysis of the process of dying.