Thursday, August 9, 2018

Becoming Starlight: A Shared Death Journey from Darkness to Light

By Sharon Prentice PhD

Waterside Press     2018
185 pages     Spiritual
The Shortlist

Although I only read parts of Becoming Starlight by Sharon Prentice, I wanted to share the book with you. It seems that currently there are a plethora of books about grief and the death of spouses and partners. Frankly, I was burned out before Becoming Starlight came from the publicist. I just couldn't relive my own grief journey again. This book, however, appears to be particularly meaningful. The theme of Prentice's memoir is grief as a spiritual journey. Prentice has a “shared death” experience at the moment of her husband’s death. Here is a summary of the book.

“Becoming Starlight is the true story of one woman’s tumultuous relationship with God during the soul-wrenching deaths of her daughter and husband, and her eventual redemption as her soul slipped over to another framework of existence—a realm of pure love and light—by means of a Shared Death Experience (SDE) at the moment of her husband’s death. 

The little known Shared Death Experience—a profound transcendent consciousness—afforded the author a peek into forever-ness, a lifting of the veil between this life and the next.

Deeply embedded in Becoming Starlight is a life-and-death struggle with Spiritual darkness and loss of faith. It’s a story brimming with the stuff of life—tremendous love, agonizing loss, quiet rage, inconsolable sorrow, and a complete fall from Grace. At the heart of it is a war between who lives and dies, a battle that brings us face to face with our own mortality.”

As well as telling the story, the concept of shared death is explored and many examples are given from Prentice’s life experience. In my own experience with death, I know that there are people who wish to die in the presence of family, thus sharing the experience. I also know that there are people who choose to die when they are alone—making death a singular experience. This would be the case for my father, who waited until it was quiet and he was alone. My husband waited until his whole family was in the room. I said, “You can go now. Everyone is here.” And everyone in the room saw and felt his spirit leave his body in a whoosh. This is the type of experience Prentice describes in great detail in her memoir.

If this book has resonance for you, here are some other books that I have read and written about—these are the most recent.

·         Waiting for You at Midnight by Vicki Salloum
·         You Are Not Alone by Debbie Augenthaler
·         Grief Works by Julia Samuel

Here is Sharon Prentice’s website.

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