This book has changed my life. Maria de Hennezel has had the courage to confront the very thing we are most afraid of in the developed West - DEATH. And guess what? it's not so bad! She has talked to many people dying of AIDS and cancer, and found that what matters most is LOVE. People who know they are going to die soon feel blessed by the knowledge of the life they've led, the relationships they've had, and - hey ho - the curiosity of life on 'the other side'. She pulls no punches, it's a hard business, but I now know that if I was dying, I would know what was most important - to be near loved ones, to make peace with those from whom we have become estranged, and very importantly, to give and receive physical contact. This woman is very, very special. She admits that at times she is overwhelmed by sadness, but there is healing in crying, both for the sick and the helper. The greatest message she gives is: FACE IT! Denying death is what causes the greatest heartache. In her view, death is a kind of rebirth, a final way to make amends, to ensure a smooth passage into....whatever you believe comes next. (And you don't have to be religious). It seems on the surface a depressing subject but I have been so uplifted by it. We really need to change our attitude and stop trying to chase away the Grim Reaper. With the right mindset, he is not such a scary guy at all.