Present Through The End: A Caring Companion’s Guide to Accompanying the Dying

by Kirsten DeLeo
Shambhala Publications

Inspired by decades of experience caring for the dying and years teaching contemplative care around the world, Kirsten DeLeo shares down-to-earth advice and offers short, simple, on-the-spot tools to help you handle your emotions, deal with difficult relationships, talk about spiritual matters, listen fully, and practice self-care.

Present Through the End shows you how to be present even when we feel utterly helpless, express your love when loss is just around the corner, and be fully alive to each moment as time runs out.


Facing Death and Finding Hope. A Guide to the Emotional and Spiritual Care of the Dying

by Christine Longaker

Christine Longaker's experience with death and care of the dying began in 1976 when her husband was diagnosed with acute leukemia at the age of twenty-four. Since his death, she has devoted her life to ease the suffering of those facing death.

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The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

by Sogyal Rinpoche

The book explores: the message of impermanence; evolution, karma and rebirth; the nature of mind and how to train the mind through meditation; how to follow a spiritual path in this day and age; the practice of compassion; how to care for and show love to the dying, and spiritual practices for the moment of death.




Present Through the End: A Caring Companion’s Guide to Accompanying the Dying – Discussion Guide

We hope the following discussion guide will further support you in being present with a dying loved one, friend, or patient. We hope it will spark much needed conversations among families, friends, and communities about acknowledging needs and caring well for those in your midst who are dying.

Use this guide in your book club conversations, caregiver support group meetings, death cafés, or curriculums.


“More Than Just a Medical Event”

by Kirsten DeLeo, chapter in Awake At the Bedside. Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Thought leaders in the field of contemplative caregiving offer resilience, wisdom, and freedom for those who keep watch at the bedside.

“Those who are dying have taught me three essential things: to “show up” even when I don’t know what to say or do, to be myself, and to not be afraid to care. And a fourth thing, most important of all: that the moment of death is more than just a medical event..” - excerpt from chapter 19 "More Than Just a Medical Event" by Kirsten DeLeo


“Being a Compassionate Presence: The Contemplative Approach to End-of-Life Care”

by Kirsten DeLeo, chapter in The Arts of Contemplative Care. Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work

Powerful and life-affirming, this watershed volume brings together the voices of pioneers in the field of contemplative care—from hospice and hospitals to colleges, prisons, and the military. Illustrating the day-to-day words and actions of pastoral workers, each first-person essay in this collection offers a distillation of the wisdom gained over years of compassionate experience.


Building Resilience through Contemplative Care

by Ann Allegre, MD

"While we have good tools to address most types of physical suffering, there is much suffering among our patients and their families that does not respond to medical interventions. After I had been working full-time in hospice and palliative care for a few years, I felt that I was burning out…”

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“Being present when we care”

by Rosamund Oliver, chapter in The Healing Power of Meditation

Regular meditation practice has a powerful impact on the mind and body, rewiring the brain and bringing us all kinds of benefits: contentment and well-being, resilience and focus, better mental and physical health, and greater empathy and compassion. This wide-ranging anthology brings together pioneering Tibetan Buddhist teachers, scientific researchers, and health professionals to offer fascinating perspectives on the mind and emotions, new studies, and firsthand accounts of how meditation is being applied to great effect in health and social care today.

“The Bone At The Heart - Care For The Dying. The Contemplative Approach”

by Kirsten DeLeo

“Charles was one of my first hospice patients. I had been sitting with him during the afternoon and I was coming to the end of my work shift. It was the end of a summer day and I still remember how the dark red shadows from the setting sun enveloped his room and touched his frail body…” - excerpt from PDF


The Luminosity / Poems

by Bonnie Rose Marcus

The Luminosity was inspired by poet Bonnie Rose Marcus' visits to men and women in home hospice, hospice units, as well as in nursing homes. The poems are intimate portraits of their dying, balancing the gritty reality with the transcendent. The poems reveal a deep connection made between the poet and those dying. Bonnie is a graduate of the Contemplative End-of-Life Care Certificate.