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The Beauty of Living & Dying

An ebook by Claudia Sherwood
Read sample pages »

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It all started when I worked in a hospital oncology unit offering Reiki. I met a gentle woman who was told she would no longer receive cancer treatment, that she should prepare for the end of her journey in this life. We talked about her fears and her process and she inspired me to look further into how we currently communicate about end of life in our hospitals and society, patients, family and doctors. I was motivated to create conversation around considering and preparing for the end of life and also as a guide for those who are caregivers. 

The Beauty of Living & Dying is my photographic invitation into the beauty of transitions in nature, and the process of daily acceptance of change. The back of the book includes a journal which gently coaxes with questions, to uncover what is deeply important for you to share with others. The journal is your view of your unique footsteps in mankind and a way to describe in what manner you would like your last days to be celebrated. Are there certain smells that you like to have around you?  Is there specific lighting, sounds, music, passages to be read, cherished people to be around you? Are there rituals or practices that you would like to follow?

At your pace, alone or with a family member or a guide, you are invited to create your journal of what is practically and spiritually important to you. You never really know of the circumstances of your physical death, but through practice you may create a way of existing that accepts whatever comes to you. These are your first steps to contemplating the process of endings and goodbyes and make interesting, empowered––even celebratory––choices.

The book will soon be available as an ebook.

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Please let me know by emailing me if you would like to be one of the first to purchase this book and I will notify you of the publication date.


The Beauty of Living & Dying is a masterpiece that should be given to every individual in any hospice program in the US and across the world. It is simply the most uplifting and elegant booklet on how to die with meaning and dignity that I have ever seen. I speak as one who knew Dame Cicely Saunders, the creator of the world’s first hospice, and who is actively involved worldwide.

Every family on this planet would benefit from having a copy of this beautiful book and using it as a shared guidebook. It offers the reader a rare and precious opportunity to grow in love, compassion, and understanding while reflecting on the one thing we ALL have to do . . . say “good-bye” to our loved ones, and – ultimately – to our own earthly existence.
— Stephen G. Post, Professor and Director of Medical Humanities Stony Brook University Medicine

Preview photography and first few pages of the book below, or click here to download a PDF excerpt of it. 

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