Lori Erickson is an Episcopalian deacon, as well as a travel writer. Her latest project has fused her love of spirituality and global travel in “Near the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper.” For the last year, I have been reading a lot about death and the ceremonies surrounding our farewell to this life. “Near the Exit” seemed like an interesting trip that I could take, without ever leaving home.
Lori and her husband began to travel to places known more for their afterlife, than their nightlife. Starting, not far from her Iowa home, in Chicago, for el Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. She moved on to the temples of Egypt, and then to the Aztec temples and even to places I’ve never heard of—like Crestone, Colorado. Lori met with people from various faith backgrounds and cultures to learn how others cope with death as their loved ones and they near the exit of life.
The author began this journey because her brother had died, and with her mom in the nursing home with Alzheimer’s, she was preparing to one day lose her, as well. As the book progresses, we learn a bit more about the author and how she is processing loss and impending loss. Ultimately, she thinks about preparing for the day she gets near the exit of her own life.
“Near the Exit” is Uplifting!
I found the writing to be touching and even humorous at times. My husband recently died, so it was interesting to read about the way that others approach death. The overall tone of “Near the Exit” was positive and uplifting. Lori was open to learning from others’ experiences. I think that anyone who approaches this book in that way will enjoy it as much as I did. I think the Maori were my favorite people to read about. Perhaps it’s because my husband and I used to watch a show about a funeral home in New Zealand and that helped him to make some end-of-life decisions.
“Near the Exit” felt a lot like a travelogue.
It made me want to visit other countries and ask them about how they celebrate someone’s life after it has been spent. I also felt really good about some of the things that my husband chose at the end of his life, the time we spent with him before and after he died. If this book does nothing more than getting you talking to your loving ones about what you want to be done at the end of your life, then I would say you must read this book. But I would bet that it will do much more. You will be thinking about it long after you close the cover.
“Near the Exit” was a joy to read! I give it 5 Stars!
Thank you to Westminster John Knox Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader copy of “Near the Exit,” in exchange for an honest review.
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I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.