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The Wave and the Drop: Wisdom Stories about Death and Afterlife
Cindy Spring, author
What do you believe will happen at your death and afterward? The great wisdom traditions suggest stories as answers. The Wave and The Drop is one such story. So is Heaven, Nirvana, the Circle of Life, Reincarnation, Death with Dignity, Transformation. Fables for the dying time. We, and those we love, can take these stories and shape them into a personal narrative that will help us cross that threshold. This book guides us gently by the heart and sits with us as we consider our own mortality by listening to the stories of others.

The Wave and the Drop: Wisdom Stories about Death and Afterlife is an uplifting book written by Cindy Spring.

With Foreword by Charles Garfield, Ph. D., the book has nine wisdom stories including ‘The Story of the Wave and the Drop’ and ‘The Story of Heaven’ among others. In the introduction, the author asks two very important questions: What happens when we die? and What happens after we die? She goes on to explain that it is normal for human beings to fear death and she gives various examples of stories about afterlife from different cultures and religious traditions. The author’s goal in writing this book is to gather stories that may help us, the readers, consider our own mortality and help us cross the threshold when our time comes.

The book features stories and personal experiences of various people. These include stories about near-death-experience, reincarnation, encounter with angels and otherworldly escorts, and glimpsing other dimensions. Furthermore, the author discusses other people’s preference for self-deliverance and dying with dignity. Finally, in addition to stories, the book includes lines from writers, poets and spiritual teachers offering guidance. Of these, the one I like the most is from Mark Twain. It goes:

Death is your best friend. When you can endure life no longer, death comes and sets you free –Mark Twain

Initially, I found the subject not simply creepy but outright terrifying. However, as I read along, I began to feel good about the topic and when I finished reading, I found it uplifting and liberating. Not only did I feel good, but I also learned a lot from this book like the existence of 'The-Right-to-Die Movement' and the contents of 'Legacy Letters' among others. Moreover, the tone used by the author is soothing and comforting which, I believe, is among the ultimate goals of this book.

What I like most about the book is the freedom it gives the readers to decide whether to accept the ideas it imparts, or not. It does not impose, nor does it express inclination towards any specific religion. Most importantly, as the author points out:

This book has not been an attempt to take the grief, loss, or tragedy out of the dying time. It is an attempt to add an element – a story- that can help the transition less fearful, less traumatic, and thereby more of a rite of passage.

Needless to say, I love this book and I enjoyed it immensely. However, other readers may find the subject scary, as I did at first, or offensive. After all, not everybody feels comfortable talking about death and dying. Moreover, some readers may find the concepts of near-death-experience, reincarnation and self-deliverance unacceptable.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is a well written, uplifting and liberating book. I recommend it to readers who keep an open mind about the idea of death, to those who suffer from terminal illness and are facing imminent death, and to people whose loved ones are on the verge of death.