Books and Films




Written by the Buddhist meditation master and popular international speaker

Sogyal Rinpoche, this highly acclaimed book clarifies the majestic vision of life

and death that underlies the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.


Knocking on Heaven's Door

“When my father was vigorous and lucid, my mother regarded medicine as her
wily ally in a lifelong campaign to keep old age, sickness, and death at bay. Now
ally and foe exchanged masks. Medicine looked more like the
enemy, and death the friend.”


Can't We Talk about something more Pleasant
“I wish that, at the end of life, when things were truly “done,” there was
something to look forward to. Something more pleasure-oriented…
All-you-can-eat ice cream parlors for the extremely aged.
Big art pictures books and music.
EXTREME palliative care, for when you’ve had it with everything else:
the x-rays, the MRIs, the boring food, and the pills that don’t do anything at all.
Would that be so bad?
“That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life
when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have
been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a
dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a
joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied.
In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”


Conversations on Loving and Dying  by Ram Dass



“Dying doesn’t cause suffering. Resistance to dying does.”


“I look at her. This is the moment when she will leave my care for good. Mine
may be the last familiar hospital face she sees before she goes under
and I want her to remember it as calm and present.”


“Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate
(we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the
few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We
misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the
death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative,
dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate,
inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool
customers who believe their husband is about to return and needs his shoes.”


Filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and
helping them prepare emotionally and spiritually for death, Final Gifts shows
how we can help the dying person live fully to the very end.



 Dying, it’s an uncomfortable topic. None of us likes to think about what our last

days will be like. But if we do think about them at all, we want them to be full of

peace and tranquility, with the chance to say proper goodbyes to those we love.

Life in a Hospice takes you behind the scenes in end-of-life care, where you will

see the enormous efforts of nurses, doctors, chaplains and others - even a

thoughtful cook - to provide the calm that we all hope for.





A practical format for allowing children to understand the concept of death and
develop coping skills for life, this book is designed for young readers to illustrate.


What Does Dead Mean? is a beautifully illustrated book that guides children
gently through 17 of the 'big' questions they often ask about death and dying.
Questions such as 'Is being dead like sleeping?', 'Why do people have to die?'
and 'Where do dead people go?' are answered simply, truthfully and clearly to
help adults explain to children what happens when someone dies. Prompts
encourage children to explore the concepts by talking about, drawing or painting
what they think or feel about the questions and answers.



The Elephant in the Room is a children’s storybook with whimsical illustrations
and rhyming verses of positive strategies for coping with grief and loss. The
gender-neutral elephant character demonstrates the potential emotions that
children may experience when faced with any type of loss such as death of a
pet or a relative, a friend moving away, foster care, hospitalization, etc. This
book can serve to initiate a discussion or to provide
unconscious messages of love, power, and healing.


Tommy is four years old, and he loves visiting the home of his grandmother,
Nana Downstairs, and his great-grandmother, Nana Upstairs. But one day
Tommy's mother tells him Nana Upstairs won't be there anymore, and Tommy
must struggle with saying good-bye to someone he loves.


 Chasing Dragon Flies Blog – Children’s Books about Death & Dying



Sammy, the best hound dog in the whole wide world, loves his girl and she loves
him. When illness cuts Sammy’s life short, the girl’s family keeps his spirit alive
by celebrating his love of chasing wind-blown bubbles, keeping loyal guard at
night, and offering his velvety fur for endless pats and tummy scratches



 When Fox dies, the rest of his family are distraught. How will Mole, Otter and

Hare go on without their beloved friend? But months later, Squirrel reminds them

all of how funny Fox used to be, and they all realize that

Fox is still there in their  hearts and memories.



Little Parachutes is the World’s most useful (and friendly) collection of that help
children cope with worries, health issues and new experiences (big and small).



Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine offers practical and sensitive support for

bereaved children. Beautifully illustrated, it suggests a helpful series of activities

and exercises accompanied by the friendly characters of Bee and Bear. This

book offers a structure and an outlet for the many difficult feelings which

inevitably follow when someone dies.

It aims to help children make sense of their experience by reflecting on the

different aspects of their grief, whilst finding a balance between remembering

and having fun.  This book is a useful companion in the present,

and will become an invaluable keepsake in the years to come.

This reassuring picture book explores the difficult issue of death for young

children. Children's feelings and questions about this sensitive subject are

looked at in a simple but realistic way. This book helps them to understand their

loss and come to terms with it.



This story is action-packed, deals with grief. With all the heart and
humour audiences expect from Walt Disney
 Loss is not only depicted through Nemo and Marlin’s struggle to cope with their
separation from one another. In fact, loss enters the film from its first minute
when Nemo’s mother, Coral, is murdered by a barracuda before Nemo has even
hatched. Thus, even when Nemo and Marlin are reunited at the conclusion of
the film, Coral’s death remains a loss that cannot be resolved, emphasizing to
the audience the harsh reality that loss is an unavoidable component of life.



In LAST CAB TO DARWIN, Rex (Michael Caton), a cab driver in the mining
town Broken Hill, has spent his life avoiding getting close to people - even his
best friend and occasional lover Polly (Ningali Lawford-Wolf), who lives across
the road. One day, Rex discovers he doesn't have long to live. Not wanting to be
relying on anyone, least of all Polly, he decides to leave his home and drive
alone the 3000kms across the Australian continent to Darwin, where a recently
passed law and a willing Dr. Farmer (Jacki Weaver) will allow him to die on his own terms.
Daigo, a depressed and unemployed cellist,
inadvertently finds himself after he takes a job preparing the
dead for funerals. This exploration into Japanese
perceptions surrounding death won the 2009
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Leonard Cohen Narrates Film on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Featuring the

Dalai Lama (1994)



A heartwarming, comedic tale of two strangers who decide to come to terms
with the life they’ve lived and the experiences they want to have before they die.
The duo sets out on a trip (against their doctors’ orders) to do all of the things
they ever wanted to do before their time is up.


This movie examines friendship, love, and terminal disease. The cornerstone of

this story is young love and what it means to live life to the fullest.Two teenagers

have cancer and a love for reading in common and it’s only a matter of time until

these two things bring them together on an adventure



The ultimate love story. When a husband succumbs to his illness, he plans
ahead for how he will help his wife mourn — and live — after his death. It’s a
touching story that focus on the importance of moving on and the little things
you can do to help ease the pain caused by a love that is lost.


The true story of a heroic man, Hunter "Patch" Adams, determined to become a
medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. He ventured where no doctor
had ventured before, using humour and pathos. 



This movie is hilarious, devastatingly sad, but also incredibly introspective about
the grieving process, especially from the perspective of an entire family.