Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We're Nearing Death (Paperback)
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What Our Last Words Reveal About Life, Death, and the Afterlife
A person's end-of-life words often take on an eerie significance, giving tantalizing clues about the ultimate fate of the human soul. Until now, however, no author has systematically studied end-of-life communication by using examples from ordinary people. When her father became terminally ill with cancer, author Lisa Smartt began transcribing his conversations and noticed that his personality underwent inexplicable changes. Smartt's father, once a skeptical man with a secular worldview, developed a deeply spiritual outlook in his final days -- a change reflected in his language. Baffled and intrigued, Smartt began to investigate what other people have said while nearing death, collecting more than one hundred case studies through interviews and transcripts. In this groundbreaking and insightful book, Smartt shows how the language of the dying can point the way to a transcendent world beyond our own.
About the Author
Lisa Smartt, MA, is a linguist, educator, and poet. She founded the Final Words Project, an ongoing study devoted to collecting and interpreting the mysterious language at the end of lives. She lives in Athens, Georgia.