This week, we’re shining a light on experiences of death, as witnessed by Kathleen Dowling Singh, a PhD who has walked beside hundreds of people in their dying stages. Kathleen shares her experiences of death – other people’s – in her book: The Grace in Dying. She concludes that however differently we have lived our lives, our experiences of death are remarkably similar whatever our culture or faith, wherever we live, when we have time and space to die.
Traditions and beliefs around death change with the fashion. The Victorians photographed the dead, then that practice went out of fashion. Christians used to think suicide was honourable then changed their mind. How we die depends very much on our culture and society.
What happens after life? Is there an Afterlife? Heaven, hell, return to the earth, the soul’s onward journey – it’s the subject of thousands of words on the web, in scholarly papers and the popular press, in debates and bar room musings.
The concept of Death has existed in myth for at least 7,000 years. Read more about traditions and symbolism.
NDE is shorthand for Near Death Experiences. And if something has an acronym, it generally means its common enough to need one.
There are masses of great books on death and grief to support you coping with mortality, illness, dying, death and loss and funeral planning. Here are some of our recommended reading suggestions.
I was at the Wigtown Book Festival recently with two of my sisters. We sought out Steve Bonham, attracted by the evocative title of his book.