Reviews of Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life
“I absolutely love this book…the way that it is written, so delicately and beautifully,
conveying the quality of presence which Anderson brings to her work. This is a handbook about bringing spirituality through
ritual into the physical act of dying. It would be revolutionary for this practice to take place in an NHS hospital today,
where patient care is generally reduced to bodily care, ignoring the spiritual and to a lesser extent also the psychological.
Anderson’s point is that dying is primarily a spiritual process, rather than a medical one.
There are many remarkable stories in this book which illustrate how in even seemingly impossible situations
a simple ritual can be transformative; it can facilitate a meaningful and peaceful death and thus be of tremendous support,
both to the dying person and their family.”
Reviewed by Josefine Speyer on globalideasbank.org
“Many members of the Baby Boom generation have created special rituals for their marriages and
the births of their children. Now they are looking to bring the same kinds of spiritual dimensions to the time surrounding
the dying of a loved one. Anderson provides plenty of ideas beginning with the creation of a sacred space for the person who
is about to cross over to the other side. She suggests incorporating religious symbols that might have meaning for the individual.
She then discusses the importance of cleansing the place; containing the space; diffusing outside noises; and incorporating
smells, music, and prayers.
Two of the richest chapters are on rituals to release emotional grief and rituals to comfort the body.
In the first, Anderson reveals the need for the dying person to let go of burdens of anger, guilt, and unfinished business.
In the second, she shows the healing beauty of touch. Sitting vigil is an honor that demands reverence and openness to what
arises in the moment. The dying person's wishes are always paramount.”
Reviewed by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on spiritualityhealth.com
“Sacred Dying seeks to return spirituality into the process of dying through attentiveness and
the use of personalized ritual. Drawing on a wide variety of religious traditions and her own experiences with the dying and
their families, Ms. Anderson has written a beautiful and deeply insightful book about helping people resolve issues and find
a way to let go and die with peace.
…Sacred Dying tells us, with the deepest respect and attentiveness, how to nurture peace and
spiritual healing in those who are making this final transition. Megory Anderson says: ‘It takes great strength and
courage to face death and to begin to move through it to the other side. And it takes great courage for the survivors to put
aside their own fears and anxieties to help their loved ones die a peaceful death.’ May we all have such strength and
Reviewed by Jule Klotter for the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients