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Unlikely to be applicable to everyone's situation
on 9 July 2015
Very American in style, that is to say based entirely around case studies and written at times as though it were a creative writing exercise, the first half of the book considers cases of the dying seeing 'visions' of people already dead and of places to where they are going, speaking as though they are planning a journey, or having some kind of foreknowledge of the time of their death. These are well attested phenomena, often interpreted by the relatives and friends of the dying as the result of confusion and thus misinterpreted. But I can't believe that they are as widespread as this book would seem to imply; perhaps they are more common in the US where religious belief or belief in an afterlife are more common, although studies claim that having such beliefs or not doesn't affect the likelihood of these occurrences. The authors tend to stray a little on the side of acceptance of religious belief I would say, without being overtly so. Those of a strict atheist outlook may well dislike this first half.
The second half is less 'spiritual' if you like and considers cases where the dying need reconciliation or some kind of assurance from the living, often to such an extent that they 'hang on' and are unable to die until the situation has been resolved; some seem to have a considerable amount of control over when they in fact die.
Overall the message of this book is that the dying often communicate to others in ways which can at best be cryptic and enigmatic, and at worst seem incomprehensible and dismissed as confusion or the result of medication. This can result in misunderstanding and failure to address the needs of those dying. The book undoubtedly through its case histories provides some examples and thus maybe some pointers to readers as to how to begin to understand, but I'm not sure that this is going to be applicable to everyone.