Dying well, says Stephen Jenkinson, author of this month's selection of the Mortality Book Club, is a right and responsibility of everyone. It is not a lifestyle option. It is a moral, political, and spiritual obligation each person owes their ancestors and their heirs. Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, dreams such a dream, and plots such an uprising. It teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. Die Wiseis for those who will fail to live forever.
Our Mortality Book Club reads and discusses books having to do with the important--but frequently avoided---issues we confront at the end of our lives. Regular book club members include hospital and hospice workers, but also the adult children of aging parents, or just anyone who wonders about the many questions--medical, emotional, social, and philosophical--raised by human mortality. The book club facilitator is Jasmin Tomlins, herself in training as a death doula.