Book Title: The Art of Dying
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The Art of Dying is a nonfiction narration about dying and death. Death is a universal human concern. Dying is a process that has a different face. The book narrates how a dying person tries to makes sense of one life, joys and suffering in her last moments. Her life story unfolds as she tries to bring to a closure everything before death settles in.
Author: Maria Lourdes de Vera
Sourcelink: Claretian Communications Foundation,Inc.
It was early autumn, the cold wind blows, sweeping away dust and red and golden leaves as the land cruiser rode fast the dried roads along Lake Victoria. October mourns a young lady dying, fast stricken with severe chest pain, excruciatingly her heart felt ripped out from the chest, suffering from loss of balance, intermittent pulse rate, difficulty of breathing.
She slowly succumbs to loss of breathing and dizziness after she was given an unlabeled envelope that contains her medicine.
It is an unflinchingly honest account of a harrowing experience of dying as a process. The shifting levels of consciousness, the physical changes that the dying faces, the awareness of death as a finality, the fear and anxiety of dying. It is a struggle to find meaning in unconditional loving and forgiveness just moments at the verge of death. It is an inspiring account of how an experience in life from childhood growing up and living as an adult influences our attitude towards dying.
The courage to hurdle dying alone and the peaceful acceptance of death beautifully poised using prose to deliver with unswerving candor the cold and yet harshness of death. The anxiety losing one’s life fully aware until the last breath is lost.
Of all beauty in life, harshness of death, loneliness dying alone, and, ultimately, relentless love can be a redeeming factor in death, we all die beautifully in our own accord, finding our own life and journey in time.
“ Reading the book gives you a haunting feeling of how death can be experienced. Buried in words are various attempts to make death acceptable and at the very least humanizing. It presents dying as a tussle of will and skill, a tug of war between hope and surrender and a struggle between acceptance and denial.
It presents a vivid description of death from someone who you will believe died and ordered to recall what transpired. It is a deep declaration of immersion that made dying both literally and figuratively lucid and crisp.
It is a beautifully crafted depiction of an internally devastating condition, filled with uncertainty and painting a picture of a soul slowly leaving its body. It is a call of someone struggling to go yet clinging to the bargain of staying intact.
The presentation will disturb you because the immersion of the author to an almost real dimension of death – felt, formed and filled envelopes you with an unusual sensation of the inevitable. The gamut of emotions simultaneously revealed represent the ultimate fight between mortal termination and eternal liberation.
The narration is a blow-by-blow chronology of how death may transpire overwhelming the human senses with a mix of intense anguish, agony, exasperation, exhilaration, liberation and salvation.
The dying moments elaborated, seemed an endless experience of self-introspection and a heightened awareness of one’s worth. It paints death as “life” changed slipping every now then between reality and fantasy.
What makes this interplay very interesting in this book is the interface of medicine and metaphor. This distinct approach weaves a seamless tapestry of art and science, freely flowing from one to the other, moving back and forth in a borderless fashion, blurring the lines that seem to separate them.
In the end, death and the dying process that precedes it is a toss between succumbing and surviving, a decision anchored on fear or firmness and an attempt to embrace one’s humanity with hope and happiness.
The book will put you at the edge of your seat unsettled and bewildered with the thought of what will happen next and how this encounter will end. ”
Edwin V. Rodriguez, MD, MHPEd (Pediatrician -Pediatric Hematologist)
Former Associate Professor,
Department of Pharmacology
UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
Books are available at:
Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
8 Mayumi, U.P Village Diliman, Lungsod Quezon,
1101 Kalakhang Maynila
Free Lectures: Care of the Elderly and End of life care can be requested for a group of 20 pax.
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