Wrestling with the Angel addresses the human struggle to cope with death, dying, grief, and bereavement. The book includes essays, a one-act play, a short story, and poetry, including shape poems, rhyming, structured verse, and free verse. In the one-act play, an angel of death comes for a man who has lived an unexamined life and wants to explain why he is not prepared to leave. The short story offers a humorous look at a man who resists aging by continuing to view himself as the young man he once was. The diverse genres allow for different ways of exploring these issues, but all are intended to engage the reader's emotions as well as intellect. The writings incorporate reflections and quotations addressing common human issues related to our mortality and explore reactions to the loss of a loved one--whether expected, such as the death of an aging parent or someone with a terminal illness, or unexpected, such as accidental death. The final chapters examine how aging causes us to assess our lives and why preparing ourselves for death can enhance the quality of our life. This is a book with many more questions than answers, but the reader is invited to share in the process of finding answers. It is a book that requires the reader to be comfortable with ambiguity, because the reality it describes is often ambiguous--a reality that presents us with many choices but few certainties. Intended Audience: Scholars, hospice workers, funeral home directors, hospital chaplains, ministers, and others who work with bereavement issues; classes in death education and classes for mental health professionals in death and grief; general readers who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

part |2 pages

PART 1: Death and Loss

chapter 1|16 pages

Loss: An Unexpected Death

chapter 2|30 pages

Mortality: A Matter of Life and Death

part |2 pages

PART 2: Responding to an Unexpected Death

chapter 3|12 pages

Bereavement: Becoming a Survivor

chapter 4|16 pages

Reconciliation: Living with an Absence

part |2 pages

PART 3: Responding to Expected Deaths

chapter 5|20 pages

Bereavement: Expecting Death

chapter 6|14 pages

Awareness: Promoting the Quality of Life

part |2 pages

PART 4: Approaching the End of Life

chapter 7|10 pages

Growing Old: Walking through the Valley

chapter 8|18 pages

Anticipation: Preparing for Death