…Practical advice on finding a connection with who you are, what you're about and what a good death means to you as you grow inwardly and age outwardly.
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The New Art of Dying wins the 2014 IndieReader Discovery Award for Aging, Death & Dying

IRDA stcikerIt’s more than an award! It is the realization that something I care about fiercely was heard.

A writer sends her words out into the world and never really knows what impact it has until people tell me and consumer guides like IndieReader discover me.  So thank you so much, IndieReader, for that. It’s a huge opportunity for readers to learn about my work that they might not have otherwise found.

Winners were asked a few questions to describe their books. Here’s what I said about The New Art of Dying.

photo 1What’s the book’s first line? 


There’s no doubt that how we die lives on in those who survive us.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

You are gifting yourself with the power of choice. Dying the way you want and freeing others from guessing what that is.

How we die in America isn’t working because along our way into contemporary times we’ve forgotten how to make dying personal. These days imagining a peaceful death won’t just make it happen. Sad endings aren’t just about ignoring dying. They are about ignoring yourself. Conversations should happen long before that time comes.

What’s the book about? 


With The New Art of Dying you are empowered to give loved ones the gift of caring for you the way you wish.

This book will change your life because it helps you get at something only you can answer: How would you like to die?

It guides you to deal with dying in your own unique way.

It teaches how to cut through the rhetoric and hysteria often surrounding medical and legal issues.

You realize that last days can reflect who you’ve been all of your life.

IRDA photoWhat inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 


My mom. And actually loved ones and how they chose or didn’t choose how to die.

The book began taking shape over 30 years ago. My mom was dying from lung cancer. She was admitted to a hospital about a week before she died. She didn’t want to be there. She wanted to go home. She wanted hospice care but in the early 80s hospice was seen as hastening death and my dad didn’t want anything to do with that. He insisted she stay. Fuming, Mom said, “I’m going to contact Fred Bernhart, our lawyer, and tell him I’m being held here against my will.” She didn’t get to go home. I’ve lived with this fact: that she didn’t die the way she wanted.

Time passed. Dad remarried. My stepbrother died from living a life that no diabetic can sustain. Dialysis and amputations preceded his last days. My stepmom died of cancer, my dad from Alzheimer’s disease, and my dear uncle died following the aftermath of many strokes.

How they died inspired me to write the book because through them I realized that dying is experiential and not about the medical stuff. It’s about the whole person. Dying is an event and a process, not just the end but also a leave-taking.

What do you think? Let me know if this peaks your interest.

Posted on June 13, 2014 by Diane Burnside Murdock
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