• Opening Heaven's Door

  • What the Dying May Be Trying to Tell Us About Where They're Going
  • By: Patricia Pearson
  • Narrated by: Patricia Pearson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Opening Heaven's Door

By: Patricia Pearson
Narrated by: Patricia Pearson
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Publisher's summary

From the award-winning, groundbreaking author of A Brief History of Anxiety...Yours and Mine comes a touching, exhilarating, challenging exploration of the inexplicable gleamings of another world many of us experience, in life, in grief, and near death. 

Sparked by extraordinary experiences that occurred in her family when her father and her sister both died in 2008, Patricia Pearson was launched on a journey of investigation into what she calls "a curious sort of modern underground - a world beneath the secular world, inhabited by ordinary human beings having extraordinary experiences that they aren't, on the whole, willing to disclose". Roughly half the bereaved population, about 20 percent of those near death who recover, and an unreported number of the dying witness or experience a sensed presence, the mystery of near-death awareness, and, if they are not in horrible pain or medicated into unconsciousness, rationally inexplicable feelings of transcendence and grace as they depart on the journey from which none of us return. 

Pearson brings us effortlessly into her illuminating quest for answers, inspiring us to own up to experiences we may never have shared with anyone. Secular or religious, all of us wonder deeply about these things if we let ourselves, and also about the medical, social, and psychological implications of understanding what it means to pass through heaven's door.

©2014 Patricia Pearson (P)2020 Penguin Random House Canada

Critic reviews

Longlisted 2015 - BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

"This remarkable new book by Patricia Pearson is a rare thing: bringing journalistic rigour to an impossible question.... The book succeeds so well because it favours questions over answers, humility over certainty, and (when called for) crunchy ice-breaking humour over earnestness. But mostly it succeeds because of its unabashed concern with love, as it’s experienced not just by those at heaven’s door, but by the human tribe that’s inevitably left behind when someone dies. Love, too, is a mystery that changes us." (Tom Jokinen, The Globe and Mail

"Readers will be humbled and filled with a sense of hope rather than fear as they realize that the deaths of loved ones, or even their own deaths, are not losses, but simply transitions. A fascinating and candid analysis of the process of dying." (Kirkus Reviews

"Pearson's research is solid, and she writes clearly about difficult concepts.... She presents a valid case for looking beyond science in matters concerning mortality and the end of life. Opening Heaven's Door could mark the beginning of a new conversation about death - a subject that, beyond its physical aspects, we are perhaps further from understanding than were our ancestors. Her findings could help us make better sense of our lives and deaths. And we want that, we all want that so much." (Quill & Quire)  

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Perfectly satisfying

This book was narrated by the author at a measured pace, and I enjoy that from the start to finish.
This book was similar to Leslie Kean: Investigations into the afterlife. Yet, there was very little overlap in the material, just more Super Duper interesting material. I hope more books are published by investigative journalists and professors and others, sharing fascinating stories, research and testimonials of individual experiences of this nature.

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