When Life Meets Death: Stories of Death and Dying, Truth and Courage, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

When Life Meets Death

Stories of Death and Dying, Truth and Courage, 1st Edition

By Richard L Dayringer, Thomas W Shane

Routledge

146 pages

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Hardback: 9780789002891
pub: 1997-12-17
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Description

When Life Meets Death is a book of stories from people who have faced the ordinary, yet overwhelming, experience of the death of a loved one. Some are the stories of the author’s own loss and others are based on his professional experience as a chaplain. This book ‘tells the story’from the perspective of those who are immersed in the experience. Some of these stories are as common as the expected death of an elderly and ailing parent, while others are as traumatic as the loss of a loved one in the Oklahoma City bombing disaster. They are not objective truths about death so much as they are tales about the meaning and the mystery of people who must face the death of someone they love.

There are a number of ways to tell the truth about life, but no way is more powerful than the use of story. There are some human experiences that are too deep for words--only the majesty of a story can point to their meaning. The moment of death is such a time. The stories in When Life Meets Death are categorized into four sections that represent different times along the continuum of the experience of death. These include:

  • On the Way--the time prior to death when, perhaps for the first time, the truth of this final reality is evident and the sacredness of life is made clear
  • At the Moment--the transition from life to eternity is a time of good-byes--tells the tale of what it is like to say this final good-bye
  • When Death is Traumatic--traumatic death is horrible for the one who dies, and it leaves the survivors with conflicting feelings of grief, anger, and futility
  • When It’s Over--the process of finding a “new normal” after death and eight steps of the grieving process

    There is, of course, always an explanation for death. We can verify that death occurred, how it came about, and when it happened. We need these kinds of truths. But death is never only a scientific reality. It marks the end of how one life was intricately woven into the lives of many others. This kind of truth is recorded in the stories we tell about the one who died. When Life Meets Death will disarm you so that truth and wisdom can find natural ways to enter your heart and soul. It heals even as it calls forth sorrow.

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction

  • I. On the Way
  • When Disease Ravages a Small Child
  • Often a Child Just Wants to Be Heard
  • How a Child Can Get Into Your Heart
  • Life’s Timetable Is Beyond Our Control
  • How Many More Children Must Die?
  • The Unknown Samaritan
  • A Killing Combination
  • A Smile Hides the Pain of Dreams Gone Away
  • More Yesterdays to See Than Tomorrow
  • Trust Even When Fog Shrouds Your Vision
  • I’m Still Walking Home with My Dad
  • Trying to Avoid Another Painful Vigil
  • Nothing More Important Than Dignity
  • Holding Hands Until the End Comes
  • II. At the Moment
  • When Life and Death Hover Together
  • How Do We Get the Message to Parents
  • When Tomorrow Comes Too Soon
  • For a Parent, Loss of a Child Has No Equal
  • Child’s Death Strips Away Veneer
  • With the Gentleness of the Setting Sun
  • A Season Out of Time
  • Stan Smith’s Brother
  • Sandwiched Between Joy and Sorrow
  • Finding Hope in the Midst of Suffering
  • When Tears Say What Words Cannot
  • III. When Death Is Traumatic
  • Unleashing Memories from the Past
  • A Broken City
  • “How Are You?” “What Was It Like?”
  • Returning to the Scene of an Evil Act
  • Between Chaos and Coffee
  • Nothing to Do
  • Helping the Helpers
  • Dillon’s Homicide
  • Stone Cold Dead
  • It Hurts Too Much to Go On
  • Double Homicide
  • IV. When It’s Over
  • At a Table We Shared Memories
  • All of Us Hurt When One of Us Hurts
  • Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One
  • Sadness, Grief Bend Us in Silent Kinship
  • Just a Recluse
  • What Matters Most is that We Are Loved
  • Visiting with a Few Old Memories
  • To Be Healed, Aches Must Be Shared

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FAM014000
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement