You’d think “the end is nigh” the way Shoshana Berger, co-author of a new book about our last days, is in demand these days. On media platforms, in bookstores and at all kinds of public venues, people are leaning in to ask the Bay Area journalist: How should we do death?

As if death were a new phenomenon.

One reason for all the attention is that Berger and BJ Miller’s new book, “A Beginner’s Guide to the End,” is really about living. “Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death” is the revealing subtitle. And the book delivers.

“If you knew that you were going to die tomorrow, would you still be holding on to those grudges? Have you healed the old wounds with people that you love in your life?” Berger asked during a talk at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco not long after the book was published in July.

Were those rhetorical questions? Who among us doesn’t live with some painful accommodation to a subpar relationship? Is there a family in existence that has no wounds, no challenges, no broken links?

Acknowledging the fact that we’re all going to die — and that time is precious — is the starting point from which healing can flow and a better quality of life can begin, the authors assert.
How to face the end of life? Start now, authors urge — by Laura Paull