A Companion's Guide to the End of Life
by Renée Zeylmans; Translated by Philip Mees; Introduction by Bastiaan Baan
- Describes the journey towards death as a reciprocal process, asking not only how do we travel with those who are dying and what can we give them, but what do they give us?
- Contains practical information on dying and death, including questions around the physiology of death, fear, fasting, funerals, music, language, and human senses
- Includes meditations and contemplations from a range of different worldviews and cultures
- Author Renée Zeylmans taught courses on accompanying dying and bereavement for many years; this book is the fruit of her life's work
Experienced therapist and grief counsellor Renee Zeylmans offers spiritual insights, practical information and contemplations and meditations to support the companions of those on their dying journey.
Just as no person is the same as another, each death is individual. This special book does not promote methodologies or theories, but rather offers insights, information and contemplations on the end of life. It supports the companions of those on their dying journey, whether volunteers, medical professionals, pastors or loved ones.
Renée Zeylmans taught courses on accompanying dying and bereavement for many years. She described the journey towards death as a reciprocal process, asking not only how do we travel with those who are dying and what can we give them, but what do they give us? This book is the fruit of a lifetime's work, and her intention was for it to enrich the reader, throw a new light on difficult situations, evoke recognition, console and offer choices.
As well as host of practical information about dying and death -- including questions around the physiology of death, fear, fasting, funerals, music, language, and human senses -- the book contains contemplations and meditations from different world views and cultures.
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Bastiaan Baan
I Being a Companion to a Dying Person
-- 1. Dying is Being Born in the Spiritual World
-- 2. Death is as a Horizon
-- 3. The 'Unknown' Hour of Death
-- 4. Developing Awareness of Our Future Realm
-- 5. When People Close to Us Die
-- 6. The Person Dying as Fellow Traveller -- Monique van der Zanden
-- 7. When Young People Die
-- 8. Experiences in a Children's Hospital -- Patricia de Vos
II Care for the Dying
-- 9. The Senses of the One Dying
-- 10. The Language of Images at the Threshold -- Bert Voorhoeve
-- 11. Music for Terminally Ill People -- Hilly Bol
-- 12. Artistic Therapy -- Marieke Udo de Haes-Mulder
-- 13. External Therapy -- Pauli van Engelen and Toke Bezuijen
III Death is Approaching
-- 14. The Physiology of Dying -- Paul Schmitz, MD
-- 15. Euthanasia
-- 16. Fasting until Death
-- 17. The Double: My Shadow
-- 18. The Moment of Dying
IV After Death
-- 19. Coincidence?
-- 20. The Funeral
-- 21. Accompanying the Dying and Christian Ritual -- Bastiaan Baan
-- 22. Mourning by Friends and Relatives
-- 23. Across the Threshold of Death
-- 24. Staying Connected with the Dead
Softcover, 160 pages. 234 x 156 mm.
'The book is written in an unsentimental and measured way from the basis of a wealth of experience and in a way that allows the reader to make their own mind up about the views expressed. There is nothing whimsical or airy-fairy, it is solid and grounded whilst still addressing the spiritual aspects of death and dying. Once familiarised with this book it is definitely one to stay on the shelf for reference.'
'I have noticed a wonderful effect in my work, since reading this book. As a Hospice Chaplain attending the patients on the ward, I have become calmer and quieter in myself... I feel so deeply touched by reading this book. Renée Zeylmans has such deep sensitivity and this book opens us to levels of awareness so often sadly missed when someone is crossing the threshold.'
-- Annie Blampied-Radojcin, Hospice Chaplain and OneSpirit Interfaith Minister
'This book is an invaluable, sensitive and gracious volume of writings around death, dying and life after death. It's like a Lonely Planet guidebook, covering everything you ever wanted to know, and more besides about the subject. It is a work of reference, which I will return to again and again and could also recommend it as a book for study by any person, or group, interested in its vitally important content.'
-- New View
'[An] informative and compassionate book... full of practical information as well as human stories illustrating various scenarios. The author emphasises that the dying process is individual and that we may have to unlearn things in the process as well as learn... A very worthwhile read.'
-- The Paradigm Explorer
'I am captivated by the warmth throughout the contributions of Renee's book. Flowery prose and gushing poetry do not figure here. Her experience seems well reflected, then sensitively described, so that it can become for the reader a strong prompt to inner work.'
-- Camphill Correspondence
Renée Zeylmans (1936-2018) was a psychologist and therapist working in the fields of relationship counselling, biography, and grief counselling. In 1974, her husband of only a few years died, leaving her with three young children. She then dedicated her professional life to helping those dealing with death and grieving. She taught and lectured widely on the subject.
You can also visit the author's own website at http://www.reneezeylmans.nl