Question: Who is the intended audience?
Answer: Those who are:
• Family members of those who are ill and bereaved individuals
• Healers: healthcare professionals, caregivers, volunteers, spiritual care providers, member of the clergy, social workers, etc.
• Individuals interested in overcoming their fears around death and the afterlife.
• Those interested in learning more about how to combine holistic approaches with end-of-life and grief care.
• Anyone interested in growing spiritually – spiritual seekers.
Q: What is the book about?
A: The Last Adventure of Life is an inspirational resource book that weaves together some of the best stories, poetry, scripture, prayers, and guided meditations that I have found to help those facing death or grief in their lives. It also includes chapters on grief and healing resources. This book also serves as an overview of hospice from a spiritual perspective; some have even said that it is one of the best introductions to hospice that they have ever read.
Q: Why are you the best person to write this book?
A: I am uniquely qualified to write this book because I grew up in Japan and am bilingual and bicultural. I was gifted with a broad, multi-cultural perspective and a curiosity about life that has made me delve into all kinds of material related to heath and healing through my professional and personal life.
After serving as a United Church of Christ minister for a decade, I served as a hospice spiritual and bereavement care provider for eleven years, so I developed a deep appreciation for hospice and how it can change your life. I have found that doing hospice counseling work for over a decade has given me an expanded view of life – not unlike a person who has had a near death experience. My work shares some of this material in a smorgasbord fashion.
As a healer, I am also passionate about wellness and have developed a body-mind-spirit perspective. Therefore, the last chapter of the book has a great deal of information on many of the complementary and integrative therapies such as: Aromatherapy, acupressure, acupuncture, massage, music, guided meditations, hypnotherapy, shamanism, and the like.
The material is presented in such a way as to be particularly helpful to those who are preparing to die or who are grieving. However, a person working toward their physical healing and wholeness could also benefit from reading my book.
Q: How is this book different from other books on this topic?
A: The Last Adventure of Life is a very comprehensive book. It covers a great deal of territory compared to most books on this topic. For example, it honors and shares material from many faith traditions and spiritual perspectives.
Most books covering hospice or these topics are either medically or religiously based. However, I share from a very broad spiritual base, so many faith perspectives are shared firsthand. Also, since there is a lengthy chapter introducing some complementary therapies at the end of the book, this also makes my book unique in its scope.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about this book?
A: The Celtic philosophy is that you need to die before you die so that when you die, you don’t need to die! In this vein, my book is actually meant to be a guide for someone who is ready to bring death back into their life.
Ideally, this book needs to be read by someone who is not directly facing death, but would like to deal with their fears and questions around it. Here is what Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, an expert in conscious aging had to say about my work: “Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross once had a patient who said to her ‘I want to live through my dying.”
Anyone who shares that sentiment will find The Last Adventure of Life a way to expand their consciousness and to prepare for that moment.”
Here is a list of Chapter titles from the book and some frequently asked questions that my book could help answer:
1. TRUTH: Letting Go Is Liberating
2. BEAUTY: The Divine Presence Within All Living Things
3. LOVE: The Only Real Power
4. JOY: Tuning in to Humor and Gratitude
5. TRUST: Healing into Wholeness
6. REFLECT: Life Review and Dealing with Unfinished Business
7. AWARENESS: Cultivating the Art of Meditation
8. HOPE: Reflections on the Afterlife and the Interconnectedness of All
9. SPIRITUAL PATH: Receiving Strength from Our Faith Traditions
10. GRACE: The Transforming Power of Grief
11. RESOURCES FOR HEALING
The book also has an annotated bibliography with 110 books in it (including books for caregivers), and many other resources like magazines and journals, music, videos, DVDs, and websites. Many of the websites can be found as links on my website as well: www.thelastadventureoflife.com, or www.changewithcourage.com. Also, I have developed some “gift baskets for the soul” related to some of the integrative therapies I suggest in the last chapter. You can see more about my Soul Baskets at www.soulbaskets.com.
Frequently asked Questions:
• What is a near death experience? How have they transformed people’s lives?
• How can I start the “conversation” with our loved one who is sick and perhaps dying? Or with my loved ones who I must leave behind?
• What are some of the signs that death is approaching? How can I assist my loved one at this time?
• How can I talk with my children – and other young people – about death?
• What is meditation and how can it help someone before and at the time of death?
• What are some alternatives, besides more medication, to cope with the pain?
• What is hospice? How does it work?
• Where can I learn more about families directing their own family member’s funeral in a natural, personalized way?
• How can I cope with the grief I am experiencing since the death of my loved one(s)?