On Living

On Living

Book - 2016
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"A hospice chaplain shares the meaning the dying make of their lives, to help us understand what is ultimately important and to make the most of our own still-being-lived lives"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Riverhead Books,, 2016.
ISBN: 9781594634819
Characteristics: 208 pages


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A beautiful book that helps us answer the big questions about life and death, and the smaller ones in between. The book gives us the one of a kind perspective of a woman whose job it is to walk people through the ends of their lives and hopefully help them find some peace. We're invited into the lives of people as they reflect on their most important stories and relationships and confront the defining choices of their lives. It gently leads us all to ask ourselves what we will think of as we come to the end of our lives? And how does that inform how we live now?

ArapahoeJane Aug 15, 2017

What an an enjoyable and poignant book. The author, a hospice chaplain, related stories she'd heard from patients and what she learned from them. A few times, the author's own religious beliefs (which are irrelevant in her communication with patients) were challenged through the experiences she had with patients.

The book magnified the fundamental importance of listening (and, sometimes, asking questions to help others find their own meaning). It was a beautiful and powerful reminder that being present is not about sharing one's own view.

This book made me miss my days as a volunteer hospice chaplain. There is such beauty to be found at the end of life.

Apr 08, 2017

I liked this book enough that I surrendered my borrowed copy from the Library and bought my own.
The Chicago review of books took the words right out of my mouth:

“A unique gem of a book... Wise without being preachy, warm without being cloying, Kerry Egan offers a delightful, humorous, and ultimately joyful perspective on what it means to be alive.”

Jan 29, 2017

It is difficult to find words to fully describe how powerful I found the insights in this book. There is so much wisdom contained in this slender volume. I will certainly be pressing it into the hands of everyone I love. In the spirit of Being Mortal and When Breath Becomes Air, this is a book to treasure for the sake of understanding and appreciating this one precious life.


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Jan 29, 2017

"Living things continue to develop until the moment they die, whether or not anyone else recognizes it." p112

Jan 29, 2017

Attempting to find or make meaning is perhaps the central task of the spiritual life. p169

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