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Opening Heaven's Door

What the Dying May Be Trying to Tell Us About Where They're Going

by Patricia Pearson

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death, grief, bereavement, spiritual
list price: $21.00
also available: Hardcover
category: Self-help
published: 2015
imprint: Vintage Canada

A touching, exhilarating, challenging exploration of the inexplicable gleamings of another world many of us experience, in life, in grief, and near death.
     Sparked by extraordinary experiences that occured when her father and her sister both died in 2008, Patricia Pearson set off on an investigation into what she calls "a curious sort of modern underground--a world beneath the secular world, inhabited by ordinary human beings having extraordinary experiences that they aren't, on the whole, willing to disclose." Roughly half the bereaved population and an unreported number of the dying witness or experience a sensed presence, the mystery of near-death awareness, and, if they are not in horrible pain or medicated into unconsciousness, feelings of transcendence and grace as they depart on the journey from which none of us return.
     Pearson brings us effortlessly into her quest for answers, inspiring us to own up to experiences we may never have shared with anyone. If we let ourselves, all of us wonder deeply about these things, and also about the medical, social and psychological implications of passing through heaven's door.

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Contributor notes

PATRICIA PEARSON is an award-winning journalist and novelist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, Huffington Post and Businessweek, among other publications. She is the author of five books, and was a long-time member of USA Today's Op-Ed Board of Contributors. She also directed the research for the 2009 History Channel documentary, The Science of the Soul. Known for upending conventional wisdom, Pearson's first book, When She Was Bad, questioning our simplistic understanding of violent women, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction Crime Book of 1997. Her most recent book, A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine), challenged the notion that mood disorders are purely brain-based, with no relationship to culture and personal circumstance.

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Editorial Review

 • Longlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

Praise for Opening Heaven's Door:
"It is a message to us, the living, that the world we know is richer and stranger than we think." --National Post
"This remarkable new book...is a rare thing: bringing journalistic rigour to an impossible question." --The Globe and Mail
"Enormously engaging book.... This book conveys deep meaning and hope." --Larry Dossey, MD
"Full of well-researched and very reasonable evidence for the mysterious life beyond what we know and scientifically can prove.... For those who like to question the nature of life and unexplainable phenomena there is much here to be explored." --The Vancouver Sun
"For seekers and skeptics alike, Opening Heaven's Door is profoundly comforting, questing, and wise." --Marni Jackson, author of Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign

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