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Philip Garside Books

The Art of Dying Well - eBooks.

The Art of Dying Well - eBooks.

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The Art of Dying Well: Ideas and reflections to help you face your death with courage, peace and hope

By Ian M Kilgour

You are buying a zipped file containing eBook editions of this 80 page book in PDF, ePub and Mobi formats. (2019) ISBNs: PDF 9781988572055; Mobi 9781988572079; ePub 9781988572062.

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Set out on a transformative journey with this simple, profound guide on facing death with courage and faith. The book navigates the mystery of death, drawing insights from various traditions like Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Ian Kilgour encourages readers to embrace their own beliefs while remaining open to other perspectives. The book serves as a helpful companion, offering pointers rather than rigid answers. The goal is to bring peace and hope to readers as they reflect on their life’s final steps.

Designed for personalisation, the book invites readers to keep a journal, to jot down their thoughts and reflections. It recognises the inevitable questions and uncertainties we all have surrounding death, but also highlights the opportunity for personal reflection and deepening peace.

Readers are guided through practical steps to prepare for the end of life, both practically and emotionally. The book suggests making wishes known, organising personal affairs, and creating documents like a Will and an Advance Care Plan. It emphasises the importance of open conversations with loved ones and planning a meaningful and personalised farewell.

A unique feature of the book is a pyramid diagram, acting as a roadmap for readers to chart their progress through various sections. The author’s hope is that these suggestions, when combined with readers’ ideas, become genuinely beneficial.

The final part of the book offers a diverse selection of readings and reflections from different perspectives and faith traditions. The prayers, meditations, and breathing exercises offer a holistic approach, addressing the mind, soul, and body.

The guide is divided into parts, with the first section encouraging readers to “look forward, look back.” It emphasises the importance of making one’s wishes known, from legal matters to personal preferences for palliative care and funeral arrangements. The book provides practical advice on documenting personal history, distributing personal items, and expressing funeral preferences.

The “significant people, places, and events” section guides readers through a reflective life review. Exercises prompt readers to remember and appreciate the individuals, locations, and milestones that shaped their life. Documenting these reflections, creates a tangible record of the reader’s life story.

As readers explore their part in the big picture of life, the book helps them value their connection to the world and appreciate their role in the universe. It navigates complex concepts with simple language, offering alternative descriptors for the term ‘God’ and encouraging a broader understanding of spirituality.

This is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to approach the end of life with courage, reflection, and a sense of peace. It is a practical and compassionate companion for those on a personal journey toward acceptance and understanding. 




Part 1 — Look forward, look back

  • Your wishes
  • Your experiences
    • Memory exercises to gather up your experiences and achievements
    • My significant people
    • My significant places
    • My significant events
    • My part in the big picture of life
    • Surfacing the hard stuff and valuing myself
    • When bodies and brains wear out
    • Facing the big questions
    • Leaving this world

Part 2 — Your spirit

    • Reasons for hope
    • Our future – a spiritual perspective
    • Doorways into the mystery of God
    • A deeply personal experience
    • The intimacy of prayer
    • Faith and trust
    • A love with no limits
    • A love stronger than death

Part 3 — Reflect and contemplate

  • Scripture Readings from Faith Traditions
    • Readings from the Jewish Scriptures
    • Readings from the Christian New Testament
    • Readings from other faith traditions and sources
  • Prayers
  • Hymns and songs
  • Benedictions

Further reading

About the author



About the Author

Ian Kilgour is a Salvation Army officer and Christian minister with wide experience in pastoral care and the deeply human issues we all struggle with. Although now retired, he remains actively involved in church, chaplaincy, community and social justice work.

After a serious health event that caused him to face his own mortality, he gathered together the reflections that comprise this book—a work in which he was encouraged and assisted by the people of his home congregation, St. Heliers Presbyterian Church in Auckland.

Ian believes that everyone has the capacity to find meaning in life, to deepen their spirituality, and to become all they can be. He has an inclusive understanding of life in which everything and everyone is interconnected and of immense value.
Ian dedicates this publication to those whom he has had the privilege of laying to rest.
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