Making Friends with Death: A Guide for Your Impending Last Breath
A slightly irreverent (but always respectful) look at befriending the inevitable
We all enjoy denial, and who could blame us? Mortality salience is a strange thing! And yet. Many of us do want to talk about it, do want to prepare, do want to get our things in order.
Laura Pritchett, author and mortal, believes that when the time comes, most of us care to do it right. With our chins up! Our hearts brave! If we can make friends with death—even a bit—well, we will have done ourselves (and others) a great service.
So, welcome to Making Friends With Death . . . a spunky, practical, and honest talk, book, and support system dedicated to helping us journey into the final frontier.
UPCOMING TALKS AND CLASSES
Dying Strong: Yoga and Writing Retreats
Three one-day retreats are being offered in Colorado this fall—reserve your spot now. All retreats include writing and yoga instruction, copy of the book Making Friends with Death, and relevant paperwork. Details of the class can be found below.
November 3, 9 to 4 - Denver – Mayu Sanctuary – 1804 S. Pearl Street
November 10, 10:30 – 5:30 – Glenwood Springs – Providence Apothecary – 713 Cooper Ave.
December 1, 9 to 4 pm – Fort Collins, Primrose Studio – 4300 W Co Rd 50
Investment in your life/death: $320 (before Oct 8) $350 after
To register for Denver contact Nova Loverro at firstname.lastname@example.org
To register for Glenwood Springs, contact Whitney at email@example.com
To register for the Fort Collins class, contact Laura Pritchett at L_pritchett@msn.com
And what exactly will we be doing at these lovely locations?
Author Laura Pritchett and Yogini Nova Loverro enjoy denial as much as the next person. But in their work and in their practice, these mortals have come to accept the certainty of it, and have spent years preparing to die well. Both Nova and Laura had illnesses that put them rather close to death’s door, and both, in their own ways, pursued paths of making peace.
This day will be a safe, warm space full of introspection, restorative yogic practices, meditation, and writing. By the end of the workshop, we hope you’ll know . . .
· what you want done with your body
· what sort of ceremony would best honor your life
· what words, sounds, tastes, and smells you’d like near you at your death
· what your death mantra will be
· Practical things, such as getting your Advance Directives done.
· and most of all, what a good death looks like for you . . . and thus be a bit more at peace with the great mystery ahead.
You need not have a current yoga or meditation practice to participate. Nova will lead class in Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep), Pranayama (breath work), gentle movements that encourage a body/mind awareness and meditation for cultivating a restful heart, easeful mind, and an inner knowing of connection to source.
You also need not have writing experience. Laura will lead the class in writing down some personal essay/memoir ideas to leave a legacy of your life, and you’ll also be writing your “ethical will,” a record of what mattered most to you, and what you stood for.
What others are saying about the book . . .
"Pritchett’s stories and exercises were very enjoyable to read, often funny, always open and sincere, and written to put the reader at ease. Even without the guided exercises, one might enjoy simply reading her stories. But don’t just read this book! Use the guide, take control of the one thing we can all count on (dying) and plan your death and your life accordingly. Write your own story and you will have made a new friend." --Dr. Sanders Burstein. Read the whole thing here
As a practicing clinical psychologist, I exhort all my patients to confront their fears and adversities head-on — rationally, courageously, with grit and determination. This is exactly what Laura Pritchett does in her much- needed self-help book, Making Friends With Death. She shares a veritable cornucopia of personal experiences, strategies, perspectives, and workshop-like exercises to demystify, intelligently prepare for, and gracefully manage this most daunting of all of life’s challenges — our passing. Written in an accessible style fused with warmth, humor, and wisdom, it should be on everyone’s got-to-read list and part of every clinician’s library. ---- Russell Grieger, Ph.D., author of The Couples Therapy Companion, Unrelenting Drive, and a memoir, The Perfect Season.
Wow. While I’ve read my fair share of advice and research on dying, sat with dying patients, and experienced my own mortality at a young age, nothing could’ve prepared me for this book. The emotions surrounding death – from catapulting hope to bottoming out grief – are captured in such a succinct and artful way that is at once both fearfully honest and – dare I say – entertaining. Laura Pritchett has assembled a true workbook for the one course none of us want to take. Astonishingly, I feel I may have been given the key to a good death.” ---- Laura Katers, Physician Assistant, Inpatient Pain Management, University of Washington Medical Center
Death, that universal experience that is rarely discussed at parties, is now made accessible to all of us. Laura Pritchett has provided us with an intricate road map for the exploration of our death so that we can get on with the business of joyful living. This book is truly a gift to humanity.” ----Dr. Tim Flynn, Physical Therapist and International Expert in Chronic Pain Management
About Laura pritchett . . .
Laura Pritchett is a mere mortal who will someday die. She’s also the author of five novels: Stars Go Blue, Red Lightning, The Blue Hour, Sky Bridge, and Hell's Bottom Colorado. She's the recipient of the PEN USA Award, the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, the High Plains Book Award, the Willa Award, and others. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, O Magazine, Salon, High Country News, The Millions, Publisher’s Weekly, Bloom, The Sun, and others. She holds a PhD from Purdue University and teaches and speaks around the country—as she happily prepares for her death. You can find out more at www.laurapritchett.com
PBS called The Blue Hour "One of the books that will make you think about what it is to be human" - read more here
And she's recently been called one of the "Bad Ass Women Writing the West" and you can read more here
Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/LauraPritchettAuthor
Follow her on Twitter at @Authorlaura
Or Instagram at laurapritchettauthor
talks and workshops . . .
Death is serious business. Getting bad news hurts. And coping with fear is no laughing matter. And yet. A little humor, and a lot of practical advice, and some serious wisdoms--well, that can help.
In this light-hearted, spunky exploration of the one thing that is certain, Making Friends with Death —the talk and the book—offer a look at all the uncertainty that precedes this final act. Written by novelist and mere mortal Laura Pritchett, this book offers a compelling mix of practical how-to advice and personal narrative. Based on Pritchett's own quest for a peaceful death at a time when it felt very near, this book encapsulates all she learned over years of research, interviews, and plain-and-simple crazy questing to make some sense of our greatest quest—to die with our chins up, our hearts brave, and our souls at peace.
Pritchett offers up wisdoms she has gleaned from all sorts of interviews and journeys and adventures.
Making Friends with Death — the talk and the book — broach the sacred and the scary with warmth, research, and humor. Interspersed with a variety of workbook-like exercises, this book will prove to be the go-to companion for anyone who would prefer to greet death as an old friend, rather than a spooky stranger.
To watch Pritchett's TEDx talk on this subject, click here: TEDx "Making Friends with Death? Heck, ya!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcW0_SUsbus
Nature photos by Gene Dodd.
Author photos by everyone, including my sister, children, boyfriend, and random strangers.
Black-and-white artwork by Leslie Patterson, and if you should need her awesome talent, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent reviews, posts, and radio about the book:
Honored that made this list from "The Edge: Holistic Living" magazine for good winter reads: http://www.edgemagazine.net/2017/12/new-books-winter-2017/
Novelist Christine Sneed's awesome blog! post: http://www.christinesneed.com/blog/2017/11/5/q-and-a-with-laura-pritchett-about-her-new-book-making-frien.html
KGO San Fran Radio! https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxacbQH3ATmhNHRVX2E4OEJKRUk/view
WMJI Cleveland! https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxacbQH3ATmhR2VIOGdxcGsxOGs
Peter Solomon, Philly! http://podcast.radio.com/audio/conversations-with-peter-solomon/
KABC (starts 8:08 in) https://audioboom.com/posts/6366567-mcintyre-in-the-morning-10-5-17-8am?t=0