More About this Book

This book was written in 1993 shortly after the death of Maurice Gould, one of the core members of L’Arche Daybreak.  Henri wrote the book on a short sabbatical from Daybreak in the 3rd floor apartment of his friends Franz and Remy Johna in Freiburg, Germany.  The book is in two parts: Dying Well and Caring Well.  The section on Dying Well is about befriending our death, preparing for our death and growing in communion with all of humanity.  The section on Caring Well is about accepting our own death so we can care for others in mutuality rather than fear.

Themes: Death and Dying, Aging, the Spiritual Life, Second childhood, Freedom, Dependence, His van accident (becoming like a child), Maturity, Being heirs, Twins in womb story, Olympics, March to Selma, Differences, Sameness, Communion, Solidarity, Good death, Human togetherness, Vulnerability, Weakness, Joy, Hope, Facing our own death, Marina Nouwen-San Giorgi, Becoming the parent of future generations, Jesus, The Spirit of God, Fruitfulness, Brother Lawrence, From doing to being, AIDS, Love is stronger than death, Caring for the dying, People with handicaps, Maurice “Moe” Gould, Choice/Choosing, Medical systems in a capitalist economy, Belovedness, Self-rejection, Mary, Receiving love, Community, Flying Rodleighs, Dying is trusting the catcher, Visiting a grave with Sally Tucker, Graves in Geysteren, His Mother’s grave, His Mother’s presence in death, The world, God-with-us, Sin, Redemption, Mortality, Isenheimer Altar (Colmar, France), Human solidarity, Consolation, The Blue Planet (movie), Basic unity of all people on earth, Connie Ellis, The passion of Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, John Henry Newman, Therese de Lisieux, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Merton, John XXII, Dag Hammarskjold, Dorothy Day (HN’s list of holy people), Meals, The resurrection of Jesus, His father’s remarks about dying and life after death, Faith, Pere Thomas Phillipe

Harper One, 1994

Reviews for "Our Greatest Gift"

"A short and profound look at what it means to embrace our mortality, learning to both die well and care for the dying well."
"I have been a pastor for many many years, but this book made me think about death in a whole new way. I highly recommend it."
"I cannot think about a better book to give to yourself and others. If you are a caregiver or preparing to be one, read this book. If you are losing or have lost a loved one, read this book."

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