Thats the gist of What the Dying Have Taught Me About Living: The Awful Amazing Grace of God, by Fred Grewe
In the past 10 years as chaplain with Providence Hospice
, and before that with Ashland Community Hospital
has helped more than 1,000 people through the dying experience, and he
notes that its taught him to do what most of them did to milk the most out of life.
For Grewe, this means now, not at deaths doorstep.
What I learned from them was to cultivate gratitude, surrender to reality (of death) and to shower the people I love with love, says Grewe, who is working on his doctorate in end-of-life care at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
Surrendering to reality is realizing that death is natural and were all going to do it, said Grewe
, joking as he
often does in his
books that life is a sexually transmitted disease that always ends terminally.
Grewes colorful career took him through a bachelors degree in acting and directing, then 30 years as a Pentecostal minister, then ordination as a Congregational minister who is married to a Buddhist.
If theres wisdom anywhere, I need all the help I can get, says Grewe
When you sit with dying folks, a lot of nonsense gets kicked out of them by the diagnosis, the pain so you really get to talk about whats important.
People who experience an easy passing, he
notes, are those with the ability for gratitude.
Ive seen firsthand that no one escapes this world without experiencing pain, suffering and death, says Grewe
, in his
blurb on Amazon