A matter of life and death: 60 voices share their wisdom

A matter of life and death: 60 voices share their wisdom


This book brings together contributors from different backgrounds including a Holocaust survivor and a death row inmate, to explore perspectives on death. Each contributor offers commentary on a written or visual work that best expresses death to them. A meaningful volume for the bereaved and those working in bereavement or spirituality.

Our Review

A wonderful collection of stories and personal beliefs on death and dying, thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read it. As a bereavement counsellor I found this a useful and fascinating read.

I liked the quote by Rabindraneth Tagore at the start of the book, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp before the dawn has come.”
During the intro the author states her belief that the collections may help to dispel some fears surrounding death and to speak out more about death and dying.

The book is worth reading for Olga Horak’s tale, a holocaust survivor with a tale that moved me to tears. “Before coming to Auschwitz, I had never seen a dead body, but here we saw death every waking moment.” 

“When my mother collapsed and died moments after registering as a survivor, I did not think I would survive. I was heartbroken. Together, we had survived Auschwitz, a death march from Kurzbach to Dresden, the journey to Bergen-Belson and four months in the ‘cesspool’ there, only for her to die just after she registered as a survivor. I had lost my mother forever and I was now completely alone.” At 80 years old that moment still haunts her. 
Tucked in among the collections are some beautiful poems about death and dying and some readings. 

As well as Old Horak’s tale I found Stephen Olsen’s tale interesting and his views on commercialisation in the funeral industry to be in line with my own. 
The Native American prayer included in the collection is one I want as a reading at my funeral and is one I have loved for years.
One of my favourite collections was from the president of Dying with Dignity as it also echoed my own feelings.

The book deals beliefs on death and dying in different religions and cultures and from all walks of life.
I think this book is a must read.

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Our Rating

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