Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Review: Peace At The Edge Of Uncertainty

This is the story of one man's spiritual journey in the search for truth and peace. "Peace At The Edge Of Uncertainty" by Neil Hanson, is a memoir of a special time, place and experience in the author's life.
The author writes an open letter to his father who died fifteen years ago. This is a story of self-discovery, acceptance and spiritual growth. It is a story of how a family comes together to make decisions about  end-of-life care for their father. Finally, this is a story of the power of love and the awareness that love never ends.

About The Author
Neil Hanson grew up in eastern Kansas. He attended Kansas State University and studied architecture and psychology, graduating in 1976. He spent a year with an engineering firm after graduation before working as a carpenter, truck driver, concrete finisher, salesman, operations manager, computer programmer, and project manager. Today he writes, works with his son running their landscape design and construction company in Colorado, while continuing to work as a project manager in Corporate America.

The Journey Toward Death
The author uses the structure of a letter to tell his story of the final days of his father's life. Many thoughts enter his mind as he sits near his comatose father's hospital bed. The fact that his dad is dying forces him to accept the fact that we are all on a journey toward death. He feels the presence of God in the room as his father quietly leaves this world and enters the next. Mr. Hanson believes this experience helped him come into a deeper awareness of his father's influence in his life. He feels his father's presence more now than ever before.

A Family Coming Together
Mr. Hanson and his siblings were forced to make some difficult end-of-life decisions. They decided to reject feeding tubes, respirators and anything that would prolong their father's life by artificial means. They often sat in silence at their father's side because they could not find words to express their emotions. Each person deals with grief and loss in their own personal way. 

"My heart wailed over my failure to express to you the most important things in life, things I had not expressed as I ought to have. While my mind understood very clearly the decisions that you would want me to make on your behalf, the wailing of my heart kept drowning the clarity of this understanding, turning easy and clear decisions into painful wrestling matches within."

This book is about a spiritual journey but has nothing to do with organized religion. The author deals with questions about life, death and the after-life. I found that I could deeply relate to the thoughts and feelings that Mr. Hanson expresses in this book. My father died less than one year ago and I felt many of the same emotions that are expressed in this book. I feel a definite kinship with Mr. Hanson and his family. He opened his heart and expressed things that most people could never put into words.

There might be some who are not willing to delve into the highly personal thoughts of transition and transcendence. If so, this book is not for you. However, if your heart is open and willing to explore new spiritual places, this book will touch your heart in a very special way.

Disclosure: Neil Hanson sent me a complimentary digital copy of this book to read and review. Thank you!

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