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A hospice chaplain's lessons on the meaning of life, from those who are leaving it
As a hospice chaplain, Kerry Egan didn't offer sermons or prayers, unless they were requested; in fact, she found, the dying rarely want to talk about God, at least not overtly. Instead, she discovered she'd been granted an invaluable chance to witness first-hand what she calls the "spiritual work of dying" - the work of finding or making meaning of one's life, the experiences it contained and the people who have touched it. Instead of talking, she mainly listened: to stories of hope and regret, shame and pride, mystery and revelation, and secrets held too long. Most of all, though, she listened as her patients talked about love.
This isn't a book about dying - it's a book about living. Each of Egan's patients taught her something; in this moving and beautiful book, she imparts their poignant and profound lessons.
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As the title suggests, this is not just a book about dying. It's one that will inspire readers to make the most of every day. (Publishers Weekly)
When I forget the importance of kindness, when I forget to listen, when I no longer recognize the comfort of a quiet presence, when no words will help, when I lose sight of what is most important, I will want On Living within arm's reach, always. I love this book (Abigail Thomas, author of 'A Three Dog Life' and 'What Comes Next and How to Like It')
Thoughtful and refreshingly unpretentious . . . [Egan's] insights continue to resonate for days after you've finished reading (Washington Post on 'Fumbling')
Kerry Egan is a hospice chaplain and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. She is the author of a memoir, Fumbling: A Journey of Love, Adventure and Renewal on the Camino de Santiago and has published essays in print and online publications, including Reader's Digest, and CNN.
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