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A Beautiful Death: Facing the Future with Peace [NOOK Book]


What does it take to face death, loss, and grief with confidence and peace? Cheryl Eckl is reluctantly forced to play hostess to life's most unwelcome guest when her husband, Stephen, is diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a few short years to live. In A Beautiful Death, her powerful insights, moving story, and unerring guidance show us that we all have the inner resources to face death, and the future, with peace. In fact, she says, with the proper preparation this experience, while rarely easy, can be ...
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A Beautiful Death: Facing the Future with Peace

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What does it take to face death, loss, and grief with confidence and peace? Cheryl Eckl is reluctantly forced to play hostess to life's most unwelcome guest when her husband, Stephen, is diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a few short years to live. In A Beautiful Death, her powerful insights, moving story, and unerring guidance show us that we all have the inner resources to face death, and the future, with peace. In fact, she says, with the proper preparation this experience, while rarely easy, can be profoundly beautiful. A Beautiful Death is a compassionate and honest approach to death as an integral part of life-how to think about it, talk about it, and prepare for it. Eckl helps us overcome our fear and avoidance of painful end-of-life issues as she gently takes us by the hand on a transformative journey through loss and unspeakable grief. Her sensitive and deftly written work will help you engage the intensity of life's deepest sorrow so you can rise up strengthened and able to greet life's most profound joy. You will explore five liberating steps for facing the end of life, whether your own or a loved one's. Above all, you'll find the comfort you need to fully embrace the unwelcome guest with grace, confidence, and peace.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A truly beautiful account of a truly beautiful death.” -- Ken Wilber, Grace and Grit

"Provides wise guidance to help each of us face life's inevitable losses with creative compassion and...elegant grace." -- Mark Brady, Ph.D., The Wisdom of Listening and Right Listening

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982810712
  • Publisher: SCB Distributors
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 346 KB

Meet the Author

Since the death of her husband in 2008, Cheryl Eckl has focused on developing resources and workshops to help others who are facing death-either their own or that of someone they love. She is a writer, speaker, professional-development facilitator, and personal life coach. She lives in Littleton, Colorado, and is currently completing a certificate in Transpersonal Psychology.
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Read an Excerpt

You cannot comprehend the impact death will have on your life until you meet it face to face. Until you sit with it a while. Until you watch it hovering for years-or perhaps for just an instant. Until you feel the nothingness it leaves behind as it steals away with your beloved. Even then, you may not really know death-but I believe you need to try. I also believe you have the inner resources to face it, even if you don't know that you do. . . .

Facing death-either your own or that of someone you love-can be the worst thing that ever happens to you. It can also be your most important life experience because of what it teaches you about love and compassion, about serving another person in the hour of greatest need, about the resilience of the human heart, and about the unimaginable blessings that can flow to you and through you if you accept death as a natural part of life. . . .

Ironically, it was not until the horrible gift of my husband's illness and eventual passing that I really began to understand what it means to live each day to the fullest. Stephen may well have laid down his life for me to learn that when we conquer our fear of the Great Unknown, life becomes unspeakably sweet. In fact, my journey through his illness and death convinced me that we are both able to and meant to fully engage the intensity of life's deepest sorrows because, through that process, we may actually experience some of life's highest joys.

During this heartbreaking process of losing Stephen, learning to be alone, and finding my way into a new life that I had to learn to want, I have come to believe that making the transition from this world to the next is as natural as a sigh. That, while rarely easy, the experience can be beautiful.

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Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader: You Can Do This 1

Part 1 A Beautiful Life

1 The Heart Must Break 9

2 Searching for My Anam Cara 17

3 He's the One 21

4 Two Hearts Make a Whole 29

5 Please, Make It Obvious 37

6 The Best Years of Our Lives 41

Part 2 Rough Water

7 Shocks 49

8 Playing the Odds 57

9 Cancer Is Not Us 63

10 Surfing the Waves 67

11 Putting Cancer Behind Us 75

12 A Two-Part Mission 79

13 Why Not Us? 85

Part 3 Midwife to the Soul

14 A Year of Lasts, 1 97

15 A Year of Lasts, 2 105

16 A Promise to Keep 113

17 Accepting What Is 121

18 Running the Race 135

19 Approaching Death 145

Part 4 The Open Door

20 In His Own Way 159

21 What Do the Signs Say? 165

22 Through the Doorway 171

23 The Genuine Heart of Joy 181

24 With Sheer Determination 187

25 The Postcard from Heaven 193

26 Touching Bottom 201

Part 5 Pilgrimage

27 The Middle Place 211

28 Thin as Gossamer 219

29 Lost in My Story 227

30 Dark Nights of Eire 235

31 The Encounter 243

32 The Return 251

33 A Gift of Peace 255

Questions for Reflection

Reservoirs of Life 263

How Have I Been Prepared? 265

How Am I Staying Afloat? 269

What do I Need Right Now? 275

What do I Need to Let Go Of? 279

Where do I Go from Here? 285

Acknowledgements 291

Notes 293

Death Can Be Beautiful When ... 297

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  • Posted August 11, 2012

    An inspiring account of faith and courage

    "A Beautiful Death" is an amazingly honest and heartfelt account of a vibrant young couple suddenly confronted with a diagnosis/prognosis of the imminent death of the husband due to terminal cancer. Very well written in a fluid, honest and intimate style, it takes the reader on a journey through the experiences, emotions, thoughts and actions of this courageous couple as they deal with this situation to the very best of their ability. There are moments of humor and of life treasured, moments of sadness and tears, of courage and hope, of resignation and self doubt. Referring to a daily journal where she poured out her heart each day, Cheryl Eckl reveals all of the steps and stages of this couple's coping and spiritual overcoming.
    The most moving part for me was Stephen's spiritual strength, which he reinforced with daily meditation and prayer. He was able to confront the inevitability of his death with his faith in eternal life beyond the death of the physical body. Over time he came to find a deep peace and even moments of joyous expectation of the beautiful spiritual life that awaited him. He grew ever closer to God and despite terrible pain became able to treasure the moments that remained with Cheryl, friends and relatives. He managed to give them comfort and a higher perspective on his (and every person's) cycle of physical life and physical death. This is, for me, a beautiful story of a man who truly lives his faith and of a wife motivated by love who does her best to make his remaining time on earth comfortable and meaningful while she is forced to become very practical as the sole bread winner, nurse and caretaker of her beloved. The author does an excellent job of leading the reader through the stages of her own inner grieving process, both before and after Stephen's death. This is a book packed with soul lessons that we all can learn from, written by a woman who is courageous enough to let the public into her private ordeal, knowing that others will benefit when they face their own trials in life.

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  • Posted December 12, 2010

    Deeply courageous and honest

    When I read Cheryl's book, I was in the middle of taking care of my elderly parents, attempting to start a new business at the same time and feeling rather conflicted about the two tasks. I took great inspiration from her courage to face the tragedy of losing her beloved husband. I was deeply impressed by her belief that by plumbing the depths of our emotions we can move forward and create new realities.

    After reading A Beautiful Death, I have found deeper peace in my caretaking, observing my emotions and putting my relationship to my parents in greater perspective. Plus, I have confidently begun my own practice of Personal Life Coaching, putting my own life on a new vibrant track and reaching out to help others with Live Life Vibrant.

    I think we are all encountering losses in our lives of all kinds as we move into new phases and attempt to keep up with the 21st century. The principles Cheryl shares are fundamental and real and can be applied across the board, if we are as courageous and honest with ourselves as she has been in her book.

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