Into the Silence: The Power of Stillness in Living and Dying

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I was by her hospital bed when the surgeon gave his prognosis of 'about a year.' Mother turned to me. Looking directly into my eyes, she reached gently for my hand, and said, imploringly, "Judith, I'm going to need your help."

So begins the remarkable journey of two women.

Judith Ashley had long ago emigrated from England to the United States. Her mother, Enid, still lived in Great Britain and was now dying of cancer of the bowel and liver. Separated by distance for virtually thirty years, Judith traveled back to England to fulfill a promise made two decades earlier-to be the primary caregiver throughout her mother's last weeks of life.

In more than fifty letters written to her husband living six thousand miles away, Ashley recounts-with love and unflinching candor-the conscious way in which her mother approached the last year of her life with dignity, intimacy, and grace.

The letters also show how Ashley navigated her way through her own chattering thoughts and roller-coaster emotions to help her have access to an inner source of strength and keep her promise. A moving testament to the strong bond between mother and daughter, Into the Silence beautifully captures one family's enduring spirit.

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