Book Recommendation: Making Friends With Death

How often do you think about your own mortality? Do you spend time each week just sitting with the knowledge that you are going to die? I mean, it sounds fun, right? The truth is, most of us go out of our way NOT to think about death, and that makes sense. Death can feel scary, like something we have no control over, and if we can’t predict it, then what’s the point of dwelling on it?

Cover art and design by Violet Tobacco, retrieved from

In her book Making Friends With Death, Laura Pritchett argues that thinking about death is not the same as dwelling on it. In fact, contemplating our mortality and eventual death can help us lead fuller, happier lives–lives with less regret, dread, and anxiety.

Her book is partly a narrative of her life living with trigeminal neuralgia (sometimes referred to as “the suicide disease” because of the incredible chronic pain it can cause) and partly a practical workbook of exercises you complete at your own pace to contemplate your wishes at the end of life.

Her tone is light without being irreverent, it’s caring without being saccharine. And it’s absolutely straight-ahead real talk. Sections of the book, in turn, help you:

  • come to terms with your own death
  • come to terms with someone you love dying
  • prepare for sudden and lingering deaths
  • and most importantly, live life to the fullest

In addition to the journaling you can complete throughout the book, it also includes over a dozen “homework” exercises, and a comprehensive list of some of the best movies, songs, and books about death.

I hope you will pick up a copy of this book and then actually work up the nerve to start reading it. I promise it isn’t scary to make friends with death!