Rilke claimed, "Death is our friend, precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love."


Maria Popova's Brain Pickings features the most unusual and appealing books about death and dying to be found anywhere. Some may view these as children's books, but I don't see it that way. This collection is international in scope, thus the perspective is decidedly broader than one usually finds when exploring the topic. 

 The Heart and The Bottle

 Little Tree

 My Fathers Arms Are A Boat

 The Flat Rabbit

Cry Heart, But Never Break

Dropping Ashes on The Buddha

The Magic Box


Too often books written about death for adults are over prescriptive or maudlin. These aren't. 


How We Die:

   Reflections on Life's Final Chapter

The Long Goodbye

The River


I would also add one of my favourite books, Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, to the line-up. It's a simple story about a tree's love for a boy. She provides him with everything: food; shelter; companionship; play; a place to dream, while he takes and takes and takes. 



Amicus Mortis means "friend in death." Given the choice, most of us want one. Unfortunately, family and friends don't always have the capacity to take on this role. There are at least 100 end-of-life doulas (guides) in Britain. Death Doulas often come from nursing, palliative care, or social service backgrounds.


According to The Guardian, the UK ranks as the best place in the world to die. There are likely many reasons for this, starting with our much-loved National Health Service, where all are treated with kindness and compassion. There is also much support for those requiring in-home care and transport. 


Great Britain is where hospice began and it is well-established here. Unfortunately, assisted suicide remains illegal, in spite of overwhelming public support for the option. 


Below is a collection of articles and essays I find particularly useful when considering death. Click to read. 


English poet and novelist Helen Dunmore’s final collection of poetry, 'Inside The Wave,’ is earning much praise. She died from cancer in the summer of 2017. Her last poem, 'Hold Out Your Arms’ brings me to tears. It’s both comforting and heartbreaking to read. She wrote this a couple of weeks before her death at the age of 64. 
To learn more about Ms. Dunmore, stop by The Guardian. This writer will enhance your life. You'll find 'Inside The Wave' and other Dunmore books at Wordery.
Marsha Coupe
Marsha Coupe