The national bestseller
From the author of the bestselling More Beautiful Than Before comes an inspiring book about loss based on his most popular sermon.
As the senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world, Steve Leder has learned over and over again the many ways death teaches us how to live and love more deeply by showing us not only what is gone but also the beauty of what remains.
This inspiring and comforting book takes us on a journey through the experience of loss that is fundamental to everyone. Yet even after having sat beside thousands of deathbeds, Steve Leder the rabbi was not fully prepared for the loss of his own father. It was only then that Steve Leder the son truly learned how loss makes life beautiful by giving it meaning and touching us with love that we had not felt before.
Enriched by Rabbi Leder's irreverence, vulnerability, and wicked sense of humor, this heartfelt narrative is filled with laughter and tears, the wisdom of millennia and modernity, and, most of all, an unfolding of the profound and simple truth that in loss we gain more than we ever imagined.
Leder (More Beautiful than Before), senior rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, delivers insightful thoughts on death and the process of dying for the spiritual and secular alike. Though Leder has spent more than 30 years visiting the sick and dying and helping to arrange funerals with grieving family members, he writes that he was unprepared for his father's long struggle with Alzheimer's and eventual death. Leder shares intimate details of his father's illness and reflects on how his role as a rabbi has influenced his own relationship to death, coming to realize his "shtick" of "wisecracks" and "exaggerated gestures" needed to give way to his "authentic self" during his father's final days. Leder writes that he often has to dish out tough love, such as his advice to a man who believed his father's diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer would bring them closer: "Making peace with death is really about making peace with life accepting the things that cannot be changed so that we do not exhaust ourselves, fool ourselves, or consider ourselves failures." Leder's elegant and compassionate rumination is a worthy addition to the literature on death and dying.
Grief comes to us all
My father passed away 3 months ago from COVID-19. This book has been such a gift to me. It brought me so much comfort, insight and made me cry. It helped me move through my grief and confirmed a lot of what I feel and believe. I’m so grateful for this book. I’ve bought this book for friends who have just lost loved ones.
Great read, self-reflection.
Great book, assists in reflecting on one’s own life, roles that we hold for others, especially our loved ones. These roles can be temporary or until our last day on earth, but regardless, play a role in The Beauty of What Remains.