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The Art of Dying


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Table of Contents

1. The Start of the Journey 2. Talking to Carers 3. Deathbed visions 4. Deathbed coincidences 5. Finding Explanations - Deathbed Visions 6. Explaining Coincidences 7. Bereavement and Hallucinations 8. Grandfather's clock and other odd incidences 9. Visions of Light and Mist 10. The Search for the Soul 11. The Last Frontier: the Unsolved Problem of Consciousness 12. Consciousness and the Near Death Experience 13. Dying a Good Death 14. The Journey to Elsewhere - Coming to Terms with Death

Promotional Information

A contemporary version of the medieval Ars Moriendi - a manual on how to achieve a good death.

About the Author

Dr Peter Fenwick is an internationally renowned neuropsychiatrist and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He is Britain's leading clinical authority on near-death experiences and is president of the British branch of The International Association for Near-Death Studies. He also holds appointments at the Maudsley Hospital, the John Radcliffe Hospital, and the Broadmoor Special Hospital for Violent Offenders.

Elizabeth Fenwick has written a number of books on health and family issues. She has produced books on pregnancy and child care, worked as an agony aunt advising on sexual problems on radio and in Company magazine and has been involved in sex education in two London schools.  She also worked for three years as a counsellor for Childline.


"Deathbed visions and coincidences are often classified as supernatural phenomena and the stuff of bad late-night television. But do such classifications do a disservice to the experiences of the dying and the bereaved? Through lengthy oral histories of eerie telepathic and paranormal phenomena, this book attempts to strip away the stigma from analyzing the inexplicable —yet commonly reported—odd incidences that accompany death—the "feeling of unease," the visit from the dying. The authors argue that these reported experiences must be studied, even if they deviate from conventional understanding of the "real" or "normal." What if our minds were wired in a way that has not yet been documented by science? What if hospice workers were more open to the experiences of the dying? Although the Fenwicks' exuberance frequently feels naïve, the scores of testimonies—as well as Peter Fenwick's renown as a neuropsychiatrist —do lend their queries credibility. Ultimately, the authors demonstrate that it may be immaterial if these stories are scientifically plausible since merely documenting these incidences can heighten our understanding of the mind during death and enhance our ability to comfort the dying and their families." - Publishers Weekly, May 2008

Title in article about the book and authors in Daily Telegraph, 2008.

Reviewed in Clinical Medicine Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of L, 1 April 2009
*Alex Paxton*

"The authors not only manage to show that it isn't always all bad, but raise profound questions about the nature of consciousness." - Journal of Consciousness Studies, December 2008.

"Elizabeth and Peter Fenwick have written an Ars Moriendi for our age...illuminating and very moving...The book is highly recommended, as death is something we all need to come to terms with in order to live a full life." De Numine, Autumn 2009
*Marianne Rankin*

"...interesting because a contemporary issue is taken and dealt with sensitively...The book's purposes are extensive, including academic, personal interest or within a hospice setting where death is ever-present. It refers to other books throughout which makes it all the more effective for which-ever of the above it's utilized. Moreover, despite the fact that the topics within the book are personal, they are weighed up with both empathy and impartiality, identifying with believers and non-believers alike." De Numine, Autumn 2009
*Charlotte Deakin*

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