Sallie Tisdale : Advice for Future Corpses



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If you don't plan, you're only limiting your options.

We do not know when we will die. We may see it coming from far away, or all at once. But I will die and you will die. You believe that, don't you?

You get ready to die the way you get ready for a trip. Start by realizing you don't know the way. Read a few travel guides. Study the language, look at maps, gather equipment. Let yourself imagine what it will be like. Pack your bags. This book is one of those travel guides—a guide to preparing for your own death and the deaths of people close to you.

The fact of death is hard to believe. Sallie Tisdale explores our fears and all the ways death and talking about death make us uncomfortable—but she also explores its intimacies and joys. Tisdale looks at grief, what the last days and hours of life are like, and what happens to dead bodies. Advice for Future Corpses includes exercises designed to make you think differently about the inevitable. She includes practical advice, personal experience, a little Buddhist philosophy, and stories.

But this isn't a book of inspiration or spiritual advice—Advice for Future Corpses is about how you can get ready. Start by admitting that we are all future corpses.

Sallie Tisdale is the author of several books, including Women of the Way and Advice for Future Corpses. She is a consulting editor at Tricycle magazine. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, New Republic, Vogue Magazine, and The Antioch Review. She has received a Pushcart Prize, an NEA Fellowship, the James Phelan Literary Award, and was a Dorothy and Arthur Shoenfeldt Distinguished Writer of the year. Tisdale is a long-time member of PEN and was a judge for the National Book Award in 2010. Tisdale is currently training as a priest at Dharma Rain Zen Center in Portland, Oregon.

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