a presentation of ... Creative Healing, LLC

Opening The Heart Of Western Medicine


For the entire year of 2018 we'll be exploring death, dying and the afterlife by reading books that challenge our assumptions and push the boundaries of our belief systems about these "taboo" topics.


Current Book

APRIL 2018 Book Selection

Grace and Grit:

Spirituality and Healing in the Life of Treya Killam Wilber

by Ken Wilber


Grace and Grit is the compelling story of the five-year journey of psychologist Ken Wilber and his wife, Treya Killam Wilber, through Treya's illness, treatment, and finally, death. It is a rare book - a love story that brings the perennial wisdom of the ages to life in all the anguish and exaltation that comprise the human condition. The author's wide-ranging commentary - which questions both conventional and New Age approaches to illness - is combined with Treya's journals to create a vivid, vibrant and honest portrait of health and healing, wholeness and harmony, suffering and surrender. An extraordinary testimony to the power and beauty of the human spirit, Grace and Grit at the same time conveys many sustained insights into the difference between spirituality and religion, into psychotherapy and women's spirituality and into meditation and its scope and meaning in today's world. It is a life-changing work.

"An inspiring and profoundly moving story of an extraordinary love-match told by both partners as they are tested to their limits and each grows and deepens in personal understanding and depth of relationship." -Dr Robin Skynner

"A deep and searing look at living, dying, loving, death and resurrection." -M. Scott Peck 

Get the book here.

 JANUARY 2018 Book Selection:


At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

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FEBRUARY 2018 Book Selection:

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory

 by Caitlin Doughty


Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

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MARCH 2018 Book Selection:

Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death

by Katy Butler

In this visionary memoir, based on a groundbreaking New York Times Magazine story, award-winning journalist Katy Butler ponders her parents’ desires for “Good Deaths” and the forces within medicine that stood in the way.

Katy Butler was living thousands of miles from her vigorous and self-reliant parents when the call came: a crippling stroke had left her proud seventy-nine-year-old father unable to fasten a belt or complete a sentence. Tragedy at first drew the family closer: her mother devoted herself to caregiving, and Butler joined the twenty-four million Americans helping shepherd parents through their final declines.

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Discussion of this book with author Katy Butler has already taken place. 

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MAY 2018 Book Selection:

Sacred Dying: 

Creating Rituals for Embracing 

the End of Life

by Megory Anderson

Get the book here.

JUNE 2018 Book Selection:

Choosing to Die: A Personal Story

by Phyllis Shacter

Get the book here.

JULY 2018 Book Selection:

The Legacy Letters

by Carew Papritz

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AUGUST 2018 Book Selection:

A Swan in Heaven: 

Conversations Between Two Worlds

by Terri Daniel

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SEPTEMBER 2018 Book Selection:

Visions Trips and Crowded Rooms:

Who and What You See Before You Die

by David Kessler

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OCTOBER 2018 Book Selection:

I Am, I Am, I Am: 

Seventeen Brushes with Death

by Maggie O'Farrell

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NOVEMBER 2018 Book Selection:

The Five Invitations:

Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

by Frank Ostaseski

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DECEMBER 2018 Book Selection:

The Wild Edge of Sorrow:

Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief

by Francis Weller

Get the book here.