Reviewed by Melissa Wuske

This is an invaluable spiritual resource for those confronting end-of-life challenges.

Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End-of-Life Care, edited by Koshin Paley Ellison and Matt Weingast, is a collection of poems, meditations, and instructive thoughts on both death and life.

The prospect of death can bring out the worst in humanity, but, as this collection shows, it can, and perhaps even should, also bring out what’s best about humankind: compassion, empathy, deep thought, and spiritual peace. The pieces in this book come from famous authors, like Rumi and Naomi Shihab Nye, and lesser-known but vitally insightful writers, spiritual thinkers, physicians, and caregivers.

Far from a practical how-to, this volume helps caregivers, spiritual leaders, and even people facing their own illnesses and aging, to process their feelings and develop their thoughts about death—what it means, and how to fully care for those who are dying—and, most beautifully, what it means to fully live.

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