Opening Heaven's Door What the Dying May Be Trying to Tell Us About Where They're Going

Review :

Patricia Pearson's book comes from the standpoint of a skeptic turned believer writer/journalist who had an open mind and ear concerning her dying sister, Katharine's, ethereal experience. Before her passing, she was blessed to be intuitively and spiritually aware of a divine grandiosity that not only enveloped her but allowed her to sense and feel a transcendent intimacy, a unity that allowed her and connected her to her father who had unexpectedly passed away a short time before her. While the family was sadly preparing for her coming death, Katharine and Patricia's father died in his sleep, a blow that nobody saw coming. In the eulogy for her dad, Katharine opened up about her experience. She was not shy, reluctant or overzealous to convince anyone. She just spoke her truth. It was what it was. And while no empirical data could corroborate her experience of energy, a presence and a feeling of well being, it was irrelevant what people thought, the believers and unbelievers. Her sister's experience opened up Pandora's box for Patricia Pearson, sending her on a journey that stretched into many areas of the medical, scientific, palliative, religious and psychological worlds, highways and byways that often intersected. Ultimately, they all merged into one road to one destination. In her book, she covers thanatological pioneers, aspects of precognition of the dying, their symbolic language, how: "I have to get the bus" really means that the person is ready for their trip. She covers visions, how the dying can see and sense loved ones who have predeceased them, as happened with her sister Katharine who was dying from metastatic breast cancer. She delves into the world of the Near Death Experience (NDEs) and Nearing Death Awareness (NDAs) as well as the science of dying and its cross cultural components, how people from different ethnicities and cultural views see death and how death approaches them. An ironic aspect to dying is that the purview of the one who is dying seems to broaden rather than narrow, which seems very contradictory to what dying is all about. What was so great about this book was that there were many aspects of science included as well as cultural and theological additives. For such a vast, mysterious and difficult topic, Patricia Pearson covered her topic well; it was investigative without being judgemental. I'm sure her sister's spirit was with her all along in the writing journey.

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