London Book Launch

National Liberal Club, LondonNational Liberal Club, 
Tuesday 20 September 2016

A very special evening!

Even though this new book is all about death, the evening highlighted the importance of embracing life to the full and the paradox of life and death. You can’t ask someone about the meaning of death without asking about them about life.

So this book is as much about the diversity of life as death – hence the title: A Matter of Life and Death.

Around 70 people came to the London launch of A Matter of Life and Death, held in the intimate Lady Violet Room at the prestigious National Liberal Club, Whitehall, London.

The launch date was very fitting: it was the anniversary of my mother’s death and ironically it was her sudden death that was the seed for this book.

Besides family and friends, about 10 contributors also attended; some I met for the first time, which was particularly special. Thanks to all who came.

My twin brother Martin Manser, a prolific author himself, hosted the evening and after his introduction I shared why I had written this book, what I had learnt and why you would buy it!

Four contributors then shared their insightful contributions:

  • Josefine Speyer, co-founder of the Natural Death Centre UK, told us how “making friends with death” had helped her to come to terms with death;
  • Canon Rosie Harper talked about the significance of her favourite poem ‘Late Fragment’ by Raymond Carver, which opens with the wonderful line: “And did you get what you want from this life, even so?”
  • Senior Coroner Chinyere Inyama, a lover of The Tao of Pooh, told us that death to him was part of the continuum of life.
  • Su Chard, an independent funeral celebrant, read a beautiful Celtic blessing and asked us “How do we want to be remembered?”

Rev Jonathan Woodhouse CB then kindly launched the book. An early supporter of the book, Jonathan believes the book “breaks a dark glass ceiling, in order to let in a little light on this mystery of mysteries. A Matter of Life and Death is a brilliantly crafted collection of intimate reflections surrounding the beauty of life and the mystery of death.”

He continues, “What this book intentionally does is to encourage readers, of whatever background or conviction, to think and talk about the final mystery of death, and more importantly, to do something within themselves as a result. That is, to live authentically as a human in the light of A Matter of Life and Death.”

Thank you, Jonathan, for those kind words and for launching this book.

And thank you to all who came to the event and for sharing the book with family, friends and colleagues …

(click on photos for larger version)

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