21 Jan 2011


Janis Amatuzio, MD,  coroner, has overseen thousands of autopsies. In the course of her work, she has heard many extraordinary stories, from patients and grieving family members, of what happens during and after death. These stories have confirmed Dr Amatuzio's belief that, contrary to the attitudes of many in the medical community, there is more to death than just the cessation of breath. From the experiences of one of her first patients - who on the day of his death told of being 'visited' by a friend who had been dead forty years - to amazing coincidences - such as two daughters thousands of miles apart experiencing unexplained sensations at the precise moment their father passed away - this compassionate scientist presents these incredible and heartfelt accounts with their messages of hope, comfort, and profound lessons on dying - and living.
....... From the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: My mother, my great encourager and supporter, listened patiently as I  read her the last chapter of this book, and she did what every daughter prays for at such a moment.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: I know that love is really all that counts, and that it is of no consequence to store up or value material things. It is who we are that matters.

I admit that I'm very sceptical as to what happens when we die, having no belief in a God as such, one part of me believes that this it, there is no dress rehearsal and yet another bit of me would dearly love to believe that there is some greater plan for us all out there, that we will one day be reunited with those who have gone before us, with those whom we love the most. I guess truth be told that line in Shakespeare's Hamlet 'There are more things in heaven and earth' just about sums things up for me.

A fairly small book to begin with (only 201 pages), Forever Ours was interspersed with quotes, poems (one of which, ASCENSION, I quoted a few days ago) and stories (some of which I found easier to 'accept' than others) from all kinds of people though it has to be said, on the whole, it has a very strong Christian bias.

A beautiful book, Janis Amatuzio is obviously a very compassionate woman (if only all doctors were), I'm sure it will prove a great comfort to many people and especially those who believe in life after death. As for those who don't .... to be honest, I'm not too sure that they will find any deep meaning in any of these stories and I'm even less convinced that they will be persuaded that there is such a thing - despite the front covering using the words 'objective scientific exploration', I found no evidence of this - though I think that many will come away warmed by the sense of love that prevails throughout.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I thought it very touching, thought-provoking and, unlike some of its genre, to be non-preachy (if I can use such a term) with Amatuzio presenting the 'evidence' as it were and leaving it up to the individual to take away from it what they will.

Ex-library stock, this was the 4th book read in my 100+ challenge.

* Published under the title of 'Forever Ours: Real Stories of Immortality and Living from a Forensic Pathologist' in the USA.



Vivienne said...

I do believe in life after death. Always have. Have very good reasons and evidence to believe it too. I know a lot of people get freaked out by things like this, but it has never worried me. It would be awful to think that this is it.

Misha said...

I have never been able to believe in God but like you want to believe in some kind of "divine power". Still, I would like to read the book since it seems so moving.

budh.aaah said...

Sounds great PW and especially since I do believe in life after death..
BTW can I use the 'memorable moment' line on my wall with due credit and all?

....Petty Witter said...

Of course you can Budh.....aaah.

Kelly said...

As you know, I take my belief in God quite seriously and this sounds like a book I would really enjoy. I'll put in on my wish list. Thanks!

Suko said...

Petty, this does sound like a very touching book. Excellent choice of "Memorable Moment"!

GMR said...

Well now...this one sounds like it would spark a period of pondering. Thanks for sharing!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I don't think this one is for me. Don't like sad stories even if there is some uplifting part to it. However, it does make me curious. Hmm... Thanks for the review!

Sridharan said...

Life after death .. the subject is ever interesting..You seemed to have relished the book a lot..Thanks for sharing some insights.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

It's an interesting way of looking over an autopsy...I've always thought it a depressing job.

Su said...

Cool-- I'll have to keep an eye out for this one! And I love that you worked in a Hamlet reference. :)

naida said...

Sounds like an interesting and thought provoking read.
I like the memorable moment you quoted.