"Judith Johnson brings decades of experience working with the dying and their loved ones to this extraordinary, much-needed book about how to confront our mortality with open-hearted curiosity and mindful awareness. Intelligent, wise, and gracefully written, her work deserves a place on your shelf beside Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death and Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I could not recommend it more highly." —Mark Matousek, author of When You Are Falling, Dive: Lessons in the Art of Living
“Inspired by the death of her own mother, Judith Johnson reveals how the personal can touch the universal. With refreshing honesty, she exposes cultural taboos and helps us to examine limiting core beliefs and discover how to transform our relationship to death. Her book is at once practical, encouraging, and reassuring for those wishing to be a compassionate companion to people facing illness and death.” —Frank Ostaseski, founder and director of Metta Institute and author of The Five Invitations
“Judith Johnson offers important guidelines for dealing with death and dying, and she urges us all to prepare ourselves and assist others in a caring and intelligent way. You can sense how her heart has been educated by experience as she explores many facets of dying in the contemporary world.” —Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
“As a guide to those seeking to consciously grow, serve, and thrive as elders, I find Making Peace with Death and Dying a comprehensive, powerful, and vitally important resource. Judith Johnson’s book is unique in its exploration of virtually every facet of death and dying in the contemporary world. It paints a vivid picture of how the strong cultural denial of dying and death disempowers and disables us from preparing in so many important ways for one of life’s most natural, and important, experiences. And it contrasts this with a rapidly emerging (yet grounded in many of the world’s spiritual traditions) understanding of how to meet death with compassion, acceptance, trust, and even curiosity. A significant section of this book is devoted to reflections, exercises, and poignant stories which help you explore your relationship to your mortality. These are in support of the book’s invitation to befriend life’s final passage and the smaller endings throughout life as opportunities for growth, compassion, and true embracing of each precious experience of transitory mortal life.” —Ron Pevny, director of the Center for Conscious Eldering and author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging
“In this deeply felt book, Judith Johnson shares the lessons she has learned on dying and living following the death of her beloved mother. Her journey of discovery encompasses not only the practical aspects of caring for loved ones at the end of life, but also the cultural, historical, and most importantly, spiritual aspects of our relationship with death and dying. This book is an invitation to radically transform how we live by examining our understanding of death, a project which is crucial for our society.” —Leslie J. Blackhall MD, MTS, Tussi and John Kluge Chair for Palliative Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine
“Making Peace with Death and Dying is everything you ever wanted to know about dying and the death culture. Yes, that is an exaggeration, BUT this book is comprehensive, honest, woven with personal stories, and very well done. Don’t let the title scare you. It is very much about living.” —Barbara Karnes, RN, author of The Final Act of Living
“Judith Johnson has written a heartfelt appeal for us to free ourselves from the death taboo that continues to haunt our culture. She also provides many helpful practices to assist us in developing a healthy relationship with death and dying—our own and others. This book springs out of the author’s strong spiritual commitment to her dying mother. It makes a valuable contribution to the emerging literature on holistic approaches to the profound and inescapable realm of death.” —Ralph White, cofounder of New York Open Center and author of The Jeweled Highway: On the Quest for a Life of Meaning
Making Peace with Death and Dying dissolves death anxiety and equips readers to encounter death peacefully and well-prepared. Readers learn to: appreciate death as a natural part of life, be of greater service to the dying and grieving, live with greater purpose and passion, be more peaceful in the presence of death, and to approach death on one’s own terms with wisdom and competency.