Dying a good death is Vee Riley’s final wish, and she believes a good death is a conscious death. In the grip of end-stage cancer, she decides how she will interact with her deteriorating physical condition, while letting go of family and friends, her home, and her independence. For most of her life, Vee pursued a daily spiritual practice that included artwork, writing, meditating, and communing in nature, and she devoted herself to compassionate service enriching the lives of hundreds. Now, at 87, Vee knows the door to life is closing, and she valiantly engages her daughter Kate as her ally. Vee’s goal is to die at home, but the process is not as straightforward as she envisioned.
Mother and daughter find themselves entering the mystery, where they apply the wisdom of mutually intelligent hearts to overcome each obstacle that threatens to derail them from fulfilling Vee’s ultimate goal. With fortitude, integrity, and compassion, Kate supports her mom every step of the way home. Vee’s death is not pretty, but it is enlightening. Her final act takes us through a labyrinth, and the supernova of Vee’s leave-taking illuminates a way for all who choose to live consciously into death.
“This is a conversation so real and engaging you feel like you are right there with this strong and articulate mother-daughter pair as they work together to find their way through to the end. This is a book to read and keep: you will want your family to read it when your time comes, and you will want to read it while caring for one of them. It is a gift, a comfort, and a treasure.” Bonnie Vestal, M.D., Pediatric Oncologist and Medical Counselor, retired