Below is a selection of thoughtful questions for reflection on At Heaven's Door. Use as many or as few as you like to help you further consider the book.

William Peters has generously made himself available to speak with book clubs about the book. If your group would like to enquire about having William introduce the book, answer questions or discuss shared death experiences, please email him at [email protected] 

  • What led you to pick up At Heaven's Door?
  • What is your personal experience with end of life?
  • How do you think our larger culture treats death? 
  • What is helpful in the way we tend to approach death? What is unhelpful? 
  • Have you ever been with someone as they were dying? If so, did it have an impact on your own end-of-life wishes?
  • When you read the definition of the "Shared Death Experience" [SDE] on page 5, what was your initial reaction?
  • Have you experienced an SDE or something similar? If so, what did you make of it? How did you respond to it? How has it impacted you and your relationship both to death and to life?
  • If you have not had an SDE, what was your response? 
  • The SDE suggests that human death begins a journey into a benevolent afterlife. What does this concept mean to you? 
  • SDEs have a range of primary features, discussed on p. 44. To recap three of the most common:
    •  A vision of the dying person had by the living person 
    • The living person witnessed the dying’s encounter with deceased relatives, sometimes described as the welcoming party. 
    • Encounters with elevated, seemingly wise beings or angels. 
  • Which of these features of the SDE is most interesting to you? Why? 
  • A strong relationship between the dying and their loved ones is a central element in SDEs. How does this impact how you look at life and death with your loved ones?
  • What was your most surprising realization from reading At Heaven's Door? 
  • As you reflect on the many stories, what did you find believable and unbelievable? 
  • What do you make of the concept of the conductor? Do you believe there is a force that helps facilitate the transition of the soul/ spirit/ consciousness of human beings into an afterlife? 
  • What is your response to the stories that relate traumatic death to an SDE experience? 
  • Has learning about SDEs influenced your personal view of death and dying? 
  • What do you think it means for someone to “die well?” 
  • What would a good end of life look like for you and your loved ones? 
  • How prepared do you feel to empathize with and comfort someone who’s dying?
  • How could we all do a better job talking about death? 
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