As someone who is facing death myself, I was pleased to receive this short book from my parish priest because we can learn so much from the testimony of others. Andrew had great faith and thus he faced his death with dignifed acceptance and chirpiness and yet he hoped for a restoration to health, which is only natural. What struck me on reading the book is how individual is the process of death - none of us goes about our dying in the exact same way.
I too am a devout catholic and I accepted my diagnosis even though it was a huuge shock. It is obvious that as Andrew comes nearer the end a kind of joy/excitement came to the fore - I too feel that way - to see the Divine Master face to face and to bow down before him and cling to his feet and not to hear "noli tangere" but instead "come to me all you who labour and are overburdened" and enter into eternal beatitude. What joy!
What is most sad and moving about this book is Andrew's youth - he was only 31 and his joie de vivre and youthful vivacity is palpable. It made me aware of how hard it must be to die young with vitality running through one's veins. I myself am only 10+ years older than Andrew when he died but, having had a lot of my suffering in my life, it has been not too difficult for me to accept death - a few years ago I reached that point in my life where, like Peter, I could only say to Christ: "Lord, where shall we go, you have the message of eternal life" - a kind of knowledge (Augustine expresses it beautifully) that nothing on this earth can satisfy - only seeing God face to face can bring that ultimate ecstatic happiness.
Thank you Andrew for this book - I hope to see you soon (well, not too soon!) in the company of the angels and of the saints.