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Feb 23

Dying Well: A Book and Community Conversation

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With Richard Reoch and Ron Schultz

Article by Ron Schultz

“I thought I was preparing for death. And in reality, I learned I was preparing to live more fully.”

When Richard Reoch wrote Dying Well, his impetus was an awareness that people didn’t know what to say to people dying or to those diagnosed with a terminal illness. ”There’s a kind of fear or inhibition that grips people emotionally and mentally,” Richard said via Zoom from his London home. “It’s almost like their vocal chords seize up when they are told they have a terminal illness or when they get the news that someone has died. Afterwards they often feel that whatever they said was either superficial or not what they felt in their hearts. I began to realize that there are many ways in which one can express what is in one’s heart.”

The original publisher of Dying Well, Gaia Books, pioneered books on complementary medicine and healing therapies from herbs and oils, to breathwork and massage. “I thought these therapies could be beneficial in the care of the dying,” Richard told me, “as well as those caring for them. For example, we can communicate through touch, through our energetic presence, through meditative practices and through the ability to be still, present, and completely accommodating in support of the person on their journey.”

This was timely information when the book was written and even more so today when the ravages of a pandemic have made us all come face to face with our mortality. The Eightfold Collection, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers, specializing in bringing back out of print books on mindfulness, meditation and the Buddhist Path, came to Richard and offered to republish the book. It was clear that now was the time to give Dying Well an auspicious rebirth. Continue…

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