Such an interesting juxtaposition of a word that most people fear, with the rainbow colored images that are displayed on the cover of the latest offering of Renaissance Woman (former Miss World USA and human rights activist) Lexie Brockway Potamkin. What is Death? Messages From the Heart, is a healing balm for the wounds we humans experience when someone we love passes from this plane of existence. Three other books came before this one, What is Spirit?, What is Peace? , What is Love? setting the stage to tackle one of the most challenging subjects. Like death itself, the book poses more questions than it definitively answers. Well researched, with both scientifically objective and anecdotal evidence, What is Death? is a comforting guide to the Beyond and what precedes it.
Potamkin shares her own journey with death of loved ones; including her beloved parents and her 97 year old uncle. The death of her father when she was 19 helped to shape her world view and the impression of the ways in which she was to live her life. The descriptions are poignant and reflect, as well, my own experiences with so many of the passings of those in my life, including those of my husband (in December of 1998), my father, (in April of 2008) and my mother (in November of 2010).
She describes the various spiritual, medical and societal views on death, and what follows, leaving room for ongoing dialogue. The door is then open for those from all walks of life, to offer their perspective on death. I am honored to be one of the contributors. (page 39)
“ I believe that death is freedom. Freedom from the physical body, which has been my vessel in this lifetime. A freedom like no other, where my soul can fly and soar!”-Kristal Hardy, Caregiver
“I have no idea what death is, but, to paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s comment on pornography. “I’ll know it when I see it.”- Merna Popper, Writer, art dealer
“I believe I am here to ascend spiritually., and that my sole purpose now is to bring more light, love and God’s guidance into my life.”-Meredith Porte, Producer/host, public television
She then asks readers to consider their own legacy and the mark they choose to make on the world. A guide for planning memorial services is included. As an interfaith minister, Potamkin has officiated at celebrations of life, honoring the one who has passed, even as their loss is grieved.
The exquisite artwork that illuminates the pages, was created by Deborah Lieberman Fine. Their soft, muted shades without definition, are reflective of the idea of death itself. Uncertain what’s out there, they leave room for personal interpretation.
In closing, Potamkin offers the reader the sense of healing that comes with a certainty, that even after the death of the body, love lives on.