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Words at the Threshold : What We Say As We're Nearing Death (Paperback) (Lisa Smartt)

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What started out as a linguistic investigation into the meaning behind the intriguing and perplexing shifts in her father’s speech during the final weeks of his life became a much bigger project, leading Lisa Smartt to the work of Raymond Moody and to the founding of the Life After Life Institute.
When Lisa Smartt became curious about her dying father’s uncharacteristic language, she began recording what he said. How could the startling changes she saw in her cigar-chomping father in those last weeks of life be explained? How was it that a complete skeptic, whose God lived between the slices of corned beef on rye, suddenly spoke about angels and another dimension? Did his language reveal that there was perhaps something beyond this world?or that we are ?wired” for transcendent experiences at end of life?

Because Lisa was a trained linguist and educator, she wanted to explore these questions more deeply, which led her to take a workshop with Raymond Moody, pioneer in research of near death experiences and life after death. She and Dr. Moody went on to found the Life After Life Institute and to teach workshops and offer seminars together.
Words at the Threshold is the result of Lisa’s investigations into the language of our final days with two primary purposes. One is to offer the insights that will lead to greater compassion and connection in the conversations between the dying and family, friends and caregivers. The second is more abstract and philosophical?to share some of the insights from the work of Raymond Moody and Lisa into the patterns and functions of language at end of life, with an investigative eye towards the afterlife. The stories she has heard, the transcripts she has read, and the words she has analyzed all point to language that may have much greater inherent order than it seems at first glance.

Based on meticulous research and put together with a poet’s sensibility, Words at the Threshold examines the phrases and words that crop up again and again in the final days of loved ones’ lives. A cross between Proof of Heaven and the ground-breaking Life After Life, it will offer comfort and new insight to readers.

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