My mother’s sudden death, whilst on holiday here in Australia in 2001, caused me great sadness and pain. It also triggered an intense curiosity in how other people think about death and dying. That curiosity led me to compile A Matter of Life and Death.
Sixty contributors from all walks of life share their thoughts and insights on carefully selected writings, images and artwork that most accurately express death to them.
Compiling this book has been rewarding and fulfilling. It has made me less fearful about death and more confident in talking about this subject. As you read through this book, my hope is that your sense of your own mortality will be deepened, and that you too will be more comfortable to talk honestly about death with others.
Coming to terms with death can enrich the meaning of our lives once we become fully conscious that our lifespan is limited and we learn to live more in the present. I believe that death is a natural transition from one stage of consciousness to another. As one contributor neatly put it, ‘death is a comma, not a full stop.’ Whether you accept that premise or not, the fact remains that we are all in transit and need to face up to the reality of our own death.
How we deal with that realisation is at the heart of this book.