A Blessed Dying - A Memoir by Lois Sussman Shenker, Expert in Overcoming Loss

A Blessed Dying - A Memoir by Lois Sussman Shenker

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About the book:

A Blessed Dying is a memoir of the death and dying of Lois Sussman Shenker’s parents who died four weeks apart; her Mother after a lingering illness, her Father suddenly and unexpectedly. The author not only tells us her story, but simultaneously observes and comments on the events as they occur, helping both herself and the reader step back and look at what is happening. While poignant and sad, the narrative also offers humor, inspiration and hope, leaving the reader at peace, as is the author.

After reading the manuscript, deathwise.org editor, Rolf Erickson chose to serialize it online, as a healing tool to visitors of the website. As a result, A Blessed Dying is now available in hard copy in this limited edition. Originally written as a rite of passage and a form of healing, the book has become a “touching guide for anyone who is easing a loved one’s passage at the end of life” according to Erickson.

“I feel this book can help those just starting the end of life process with dear ones and can also help those afterwards to help reprocess what they have gone through. Ms. Shenker comes through the storm she describes and then talks about what she has learned from it and the legacy her parents gave her. Anyone involved with their parents or with death will appreciate her conclusion to the story.”
—Rolf Erickson


What a blessing to have Lois Shenker share some of her most intimate personal and family moments with us. I thank her for sharing her story and for giving so many people strength and courage..
—Rabbi Kim Rosen

I needed this book so much. It helped me deal with my own parents’ deaths. The author says what I think and recognizes what I feel.”
—Linda Abramson, former Mayor, Portland, Maine

Lois Shenker’s book, A Blessed Dying, will bring comfort and growth to many people, adding to light and dispelling darkness.
—Charles Schiffman, Director of The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, 1987-2010


“Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. “
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I will try again tomorrow."
—Mary Anne Radmacher

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
—Source unknown

“Experience is not what happens to you: it is what you do with what happens to you.”
—Aldous Huxley

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.

If you are a caregiver to someone who is dying, or are overcoming loss yourself, here are some helpful hints

  • Contact your local hospice organization as soon as possible if it is appropriate.
  • Choose a quotation, an affirmation or a prayer to get you through the day.
  • Do what my doctor told me to do when I told him I was going to be caring for my Mother on a daily basis after her diagnosis. “Take 30 minutes every day for yourself,” he said. Do whatever works for you to relieve the stress.
  • Spend some time at www.deathwise.org to educate yourself, and to begin changing your conversation about death and dying.