10 Must-Reads About Death Before You Die
Although death can be a frightening topic to discuss, being aware and preparing your burial preference in advance with the best option-personalized for your specific needs will relieve the burden for your family and assure a customized, unique memorial for each individual. We have compiled a list of 10 Amazon Must-Reads covering death from various perspectives that are all listed below:
Elizabeth Fournier provides step-by-step comprehensive funeral guidance regarding legal advice, funeral basics, and exploring green burial options. Fournier discusses the sustainable practices that are the most suitable for the economic and environmental well-being of loved ones.
Review from a Verified Buyer: “The best all-in-one book I have seen on Green burials--informative, well categorized, and an easy read. Covers more than green burials and it's really thought-provoking. Lots of good reference information and I especially liked the larger-than-normal type size…Easy on the eyes. Recommended.”
Summary: This publication discusses the natural after-death options available and how they are transforming the existing funeral industry. This book offers stories and guidance for green burials, the conscious dying, home funeral vigils, and advanced after-care directives. Reimagining Death is creating awareness for greening the gateway of death and returning back to our natural state on earth.
Review from a Verified Buyer: “This wonderful book is as rich in spiritual wisdom and psychological insight as it is filled with practical guidance for home funerals and green burials. At a time of global ecological crisis, religious leaders including Pope Francis have called for a renewed spirit of “care for the earth, our common home” (in the encyclical Laudato si). Herring and the green burial movement offer a path for partnering with nature and natural processes as we stand with our loved ones at the threshold of death and tend to their bodies once they have gone. Informed by the author’s Episcopalian roots and mindfulness practice, as well as by contemporary spiritual paths, the insights, and instructions these pages contain will appeal both to readers with established beliefs and to those who are unaffiliated with any tradition”.
Summary: This book takes a fun twist on green burial by telling the story of Bob Brutz, an investigative reporter, humorist, and amateur naturalist who plans his own natural burial within three months. It discusses various green burial options and best practices, in order to minimize toxins and chemicals within the burial process.
Review from a Verified Buyer: “This is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to escape the traditional funeral/ burial model. It describes all sorts of practical aspects of what is involved in having an earth-friendly and conscious burial and the possible options. It has some very honoring and creative solutions like a cardboard casket that you can decorate for yourself. It is very humanizing and demystifying of a process that makes us able to have other more intimate end-of-life choices”.
Summary: Greening death explores the history, explaining how humans used to dispose of the dead in a natural, earth-friendly way but within the last 150 years, specifically in the U.S., the funeral industry has been filled with toxic chemicals, polluting the earth and destroying natural landscapes. The Green Burial Movement is changing the industry and reconnecting humans with nature while protecting the earth.
Review from a Verified Buyer: Suzanne brings clarity and depth to the burgeoning conversation by weaving environmental and cultural needs and practices together in a reading that is informative and engrossing at the same time. She received the distinguished Green Burial Council Leadership Award in 2016 for her work on this book, recognized for her insight and revelations that stand to touch everyone who is bound to make a choice about final disposition. A really worthwhile read.
Summary: Before All Is Said and Done faces a challenging topic with educational information regarding planning for one's death. It will cover the shock of loss, facing cognitive decline, planning for sudden death or prolonged illness, and much more. It also offers advice through the perspective of many altering points of view ranging from doctors, attorneys, and financial advisors, and a personal anecdote that connects it all together.
Review from a Verified Buyer: It was a wealth of information. Everyone should read this book, I am redoing my will now. Such helpful information that I never thought about. We plan our whole lives and put little time and energy into planning our will and estate. It puts me in such a comfortable place knowing it will be easier for my loved ones.
Summary: Death Nesting is the combination of ancient and modern death doula techniques, herbal support, and mindfulness practices to properly care for the dying: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This overview creates a holistic approach to providing a “whole being” caregiving experience. Although the mindful practices are simple, they are deeply rooted in profound findings and can be done by anyone new to mediation. The book, nature encourages people to acknowledge and accept that death is a part of life that we all experience.
Review from a Verified Buyer: “I've read about half a dozen books on caring for the dying in the last six months and this one has had the greatest impact so far. It's profound while still being accessible. It's a book I'll definitely be revisiting as life goes on, as I'm sure there will be more gems to uncover each time I read it. There are many books on death but this one has a different flavor. Though it is scary to think about death, this book is like a generous friend that empowers you with your sacred privilege to die. It feels sad but strangely homey and beautiful. There is an impressive combination of caring, naked truth, sacredness, and practicality. The book Death Nesting introduces the inseparability of the mysticism of dying and detailed daily care. It also doesn’t forget those who care for the dying”.
Summary: Embrace the unknown and discover a new perspective on life and death with "Life. Death. Whatever." Funeral director Louise Winter and end-of-life doula Anna Lyons share the lessons they've learned from working with the living, the dying, the dead, and the grieving. Explore the beauty, blessings, and tragedies of life and the fragility of everything we hold dear. This book is not just about death and dying, it's a reflection on life and living, a reminder to cherish every moment and live our lives to the fullest.
Review from a Verified Buyer: “Anna Lyons and Louise Winter are no strangers to death. Between them, they have years of experience working closely with the dying and the bereaved. In their book Life. Death Whatever. Lyons and Winter blend practical information with compassionate advice which at times is less about dying and more about living. Full of real-world advice and hard-won insight, this is an honest, touching, and essential guide for each and every one of us for whom 'death is the future'” ―Lindsey Fitzharris, bestselling author of The Butchering Art
Summary: "Discover a new approach to treating the dead with dignity in 'From Here to Eternity' by Caitlin Doughty. The best-selling author embarks on a journey to explore funeral rituals from around the world and investigate the funeral industry in America. From mummification in Indonesia to the Días de los Muertos in Mexico, Doughty examines how different cultures cope and mourn. Challenging the expensive and impersonal system in the US, she advocates for a more personal and participatory approach to death care. Beautifully illustrated by Landis Blair, this book is a thought-provoking examination of mortality and a reminder to face death with curiosity and acceptance.
Review from a Verified Buyer: "This slim volume, full of captivating, enlightening, and humorous tidbits, is a―dare I say―uplifting exploration of what people the world over do to withstand loss and the bite of impermanence. This is death as viewed by a mortician: profound, unavoidable, natural, and a bit funny."
Summary: More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us" is a national best-selling book by Steve Leder, senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world. This book takes a deep dive into loss and how it teaches us to live and love more deeply. The author shares his own experiences with loss, including the loss of his father, and how it transformed him. The book is filled with laughter and tears, wisdom from both ancient and modern sources, and the profound truth that loss can bring us more than we ever imagined. It is written with Rabbi Leder's unique combination of vulnerability, irreverence, and humor.
Review from a Verified Buyer: "I recommend this powerful book by my dear friend, Rabbi Steve Leder. It is filled not with theory, but with time-tested wisdom that can only come from years of experience helping people. This is such a beautiful book! It is the voice of experience, from a wounded healer who is both realistic and hopeful. I love Steve Leder, I love his congregation, and I loved reading this book! But don’t just read it, buy a copy for a friend."
— Pastor Rick Warren, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life
Summary: This book explores the diverse aspects of natural burials, examining the movement's growth and evolution over the past two decades. With over 200 natural burial sites in the UK and many more across the globe, this book draws on interviews with individuals involved in the natural burial process, including ground managers, celebrants, priests, bereaved families, and funeral directors, to offer a comprehensive understanding of the concept from multiple perspectives. Site surveys, design plans, and case studies provide insight into the challenges and opportunities of creating a natural burial site, while a longitudinal case study delves into the evolving nature of the practice. This book offers a unique, in-depth look at natural burials, illuminating the philosophy and landscape practices behind a trend that has garnered increasing media attention and interest worldwide.
Review from a Verified Buyer: This powerful study – based on sensitive, innovative research, and expertly illustrated – shows how natural burial can become a creative and contested process. Fascinating analysis of the very ground used for burial, illuminates the social, material, emotional, temporal and memorial aspects of this increasingly significant practice. Essential reading for anyone interested in death studies, anthropology, material culture, and landscape design. - Elizabeth Hallam, University of Aberdeen and University of Oxford, UK