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Record Type: Review   ID: 917

A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as if it Were Your Last

Levine, Stephen

 Stephen Levine, who has spent much of his life caring for the dying by preparing them to die, in this important book writes about living as if you had only one year left. He did so himself, before writing the book. His aim in doing so is not only to help us deal with our denial of death, but to enable us to live a much fuller life. The book consists of 30 brief chapters, most of which describe exercises you can do to come to terms with and accept the inevitability of your own death, and also renew your heart’s way of knowing so that you will be more open and aware of life, of which death is a part. This sort of renewal, he points out, has happened to people who actually were near death from serious illness or accidents and who caught up with their lives seemingly just in time to really become involved in life and healing, whether for impending death…or life. Thus, one could say this book is about "enheartenment." As he puts it, "this one-year, last-year life experiment…does not invite death but rather encourages completion before desolution" (p. 40), which echoes a memorable line from Thoreau’s Walden, in which he says he did not want "when I came to die, [to] discover that I had not lived." However, he also includes chapters on what the dying also have taught him as well as near-death experiences and after-death communications. This is a book that should be read by every 20-year old as well as those who are past their prime. It teaches the heart what our senses already know: life itself unfailingly brings a new dawn each day.
Publisher Information:New York: Bell Tower, 1997. Pp. vii + 175. Appendix. Group Practice: 169-175; 1 photo
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