Beyond the Mirror: Reflections on Death and Life

Book, 1991, 74 pp
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In Beyond the Mirror Henri Nouwen gives us an account of an accident in which he was seriously injured when struck by the outside rearview mirror of a passing van as he was hitchhiking on a dark winter morning. More importantly, the book gives us an account of his reflections as he found himself close to death and awaiting surgery and his subsequent thoughts on the experience in the days following his recovery. Face to face with death, Nouwen had to sort out what was really important about the life he had lived and the small slice of life left to him now, as he faced the possibility of imminent death.

As the reader follows Nouwen step by step through the logic of negotiation with death, the reader, too, is inevitably drawn into the process of sorting out ultimate values, weighing decisions in the present about what really matters, not waiting for the moment when time runs out and new decisions are no longer an option.

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