Is there an art to dying? And if there is, what can we do to achieve a good death? We have few special rituals to prepare for death, or to mark it, and we often fail to help the dying prepare for death. "The Art of Dying" contains accounts by the dying, and those who have been with the dying in their final hours, which help us to understand that death is a process. The experiences suggest that we are looked after throughout the transition from life to death, and taken on a journey into love and light by loved ones who come back to take us. Other accounts are from people who have been emotionally close to someone and who, unaware that the person they love is dying, experience a sudden strong sense of their presence or an intimation of their death. Rational, scientific explanations for these experiences are hard to find, and it is almost impossible, in the face of them, to sustain the current scientific view that our consciousness is entirely brain-based, and that it is extinguished at the moment our brain ceases to function. The world is more highly interconnected and more complex than the simple mechanical model we have followed for so long.
The evidence suggests we are more than brain function, and that something - soul or spirit or consciousness - will continue in some form or another for a while at least. We can ensure a "good death" for ourselves and help those we love achieve it too. "The Art of Dying" demonstrates that we can face death with a peaceful and untroubled mind; that death is not a lonely or a fearful journey, but an intensely hopeful one.