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The first book to explore the meaningful dreams and visions that bring comfort as death nears.
Christopher Kerr is a hospice doctor. All of his patients die. Yet he has cared for thousands who, in the face of death, speak of finding love, insight, and grace. They reveal that there is hope beyond cure as they transition to focus on personal meaning. In this extraordinary and beautiful book, Dr. Kerr shares his patients' stories and his own research pointing to death as not purely the end of life, but as a final chapter of humanity and transcendence.
Drawing on interviews with over 1,200 patients and more than a decade of quantified data, Dr. Kerr explains why pre-death dreams and visions are remarkable events that bring comfort and exemplify human resilience. These are not regular dreams. Described as "more real than real," they frequently include loved ones long gone and mark the transition from distress to acceptance. These end-of-life experiences help patients restore meaning; make sense of important events, themes, or relationships in their lives; and assist them in reclaiming the dying process as an experience in which they have a say. Kerr's book also illuminates the benefits of these phenomena for the bereaved who get relief from seeing their loved ones pass with a sense of calm closure.
Beautifully written with astonishing real-life characters and stories, this book, at its heart, celebrates our power to reclaim the dying process as deeply meaningful. Death Is But a Dream is an important contribution to our understanding of medicine's and humanity's greatest mystery.