Using Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s famous “five stages of grief” as a framework, author Neal Rechtman chronicles his wife’s stress-free acceptance of her cancer diagnosis and guides the reader along a path to the same fearless perspective.
“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” - Woody Allen
American culture is notorious for its avoidance of death. When it is not being ignored altogether, death is an acutely feared phenomenon.
Nonetheless, as we all know, death is in everyone’s future, and there’s nothing we can do about it. What we can change—and what makes all the difference—is our attitude toward death.
For Neal Rechtman, his perspective changed while watching his wife, Jane, approach her terminal diagnosis with sincere acceptance. Jane’s positive attitude throughout her illness actually worked to extend her remaining time, time that was ultimately more enjoyable due to the absence of fear and stress. Inspired by his wife’s unyielding courage in the face of death, Rechtman narrates for the reader a journey through the five stages of grief using equal parts wisdom, humor, and candor.
Whether you have a life-threatening illness yourself, are trying to come to terms with the (imminent) loss of a loved one, or simply wish to lift the black cloud of fear that defines death in our society, Fear of Dying can help you face the great unknown with less sense of dread, and perhaps guide you to your own level of acceptance.