Stephen Levine passed away last year. Before he did, he worked tirelessly to help others approach their own deaths. He wrote best sellers about what he learned from other’s travels and his own.
A Year to Live by Stephen Levine is a book I bought not once, but twice. I gave the first copy away and had to have it in my bookshelf… so I bought another copy.
For someone like me, who suffers from health anxiety (some might say hypochondria) and an obsession with death and dying, this book offers an oasis in the desert. It does what no book before it has done (at least for me): Softens the notion of death. <<<And that’s just what I wanted.
This little book (175 pages) is comprised of (mostly) short chapters that read like poetry… or meditations… or a whispered conversation with a good friend.
Practice dying, Levine says, for in this exercise you will find truth and wisdom.
The trick, of course, is learning how to live while we still can.
The 39 chapters provide a year-long “program” that will lead you to a sweetness… beyond regrets or “wish I had or hadn’t done” places… where we stand alone to face the end of one journey and enter another. Anything you think you’ll need to do before that time is covered here… from living in the now, to forgiveness …to a life review… to letting go. And everything in-between.
This is not a simple read. It is not the kind of book you read while sipping tea and cuddling with your cat. It is as vital as getting your life… your home… your paperwork… your plans… your last will and testament… in order.
How do you want to die? You may not get a choice, of course. But if you do… you’d better decide some things before the time comes.
The one thing you can decide *** for sure *** is how you live your life before death knocks. This book will help you to do that, too!
“Preparing for death is one of the most profoundly healing acts of a lifetime.”
― Stephen Levine