"Dear Ones," she began on Facebook as she always does. "This beautiful book, On Living, by Kerry Egan, came out in hardcover yesterday and I cannot recommend it highly enough."
"The author is a hospice chaplain who has spent years sitting beside people who are at the end of their lives, keeping them company in their final days and hours, and witnessing firsthand what she calls the 'spiritual work of dying'," Gilbert continues.
On Living, which was released October 25, is hospice chaplain Egan's second memoir (her first, Fumbling: A Journey of Love, Adventure, and Renewal on the Camino de Santiago, was released in 2006). In it, she discusses how during the years she has spent sitting at the bedsides of those who are dying she's witnessed what she calls the"spiritual work of dying"—the work of finding or making the meaning of one's life.
Gilbert calls Egan's book "terribly moving" without being preachy or depressing. "This is a poetic and philosophical and brave and uplifting meditation on how important it is to make peace and meaning of our lives while we still have them," she writes.
In the comments Gilbert calls On Living a book about being a "compassionate witness" to death as opposed to a book about people who are dying.
With her partner Rayya Elias currently suffering from pancreatic and liver cancer, it makes sense that Gilbert would find such comfort in Egan's inspiring book.
"There are books that come to us at the right moment," says Gilbert. "This book came to me at the right moment. I'm passing along this recommendation with the greatest respect to Ms Egan, both for the importance of her life's work, and for the beauty of her prose."