“Dessert First”

dessert first book cover
Today we continue on in my series on raising up women’s’ voices that I think you need to hear. These books will richly bless your life and your journey of discipleship.

Today I lift up my friend, Dana Trent, and her book, “Dessert First.” I first met Dana when I attended Duke Divinity. I was struck by her intelligence, kindness, and calm presence. Since that time, she has gone on to write four additional books “Saffron Cross“, “For Sabbath’s Sake“, “One Breath at a Time” and today she is releasing her newest book “Dessert First.”

Dessert First” is a tragically beautiful account of the sacred time that Dana spent with her mother during her final days. The purpose of Dana sharing these important moments in her life is to help other people who are caring for a loved one who is dying. In her book, Dana reminds the reader not to be afraid of this time, but to use it well to celebrate and honor the person who is about to die.

In the introduction of her book she says:

“But the greatest lesson my mother, brother, patients, their families, doctors, nurses, fellow chaplains, and dying loved ones taught me is that we are terminal. After sitting with over 200 dying people (not all at once), I learned to unwrap the gifts our finite bodies—and their deaths—offer us: reality, courage, and curiosity. I became a friend of “terminal,” facing the fear in order to begin with the end in mind. That is death’s lesson: it teaches us how to live.”

–This is an adapted excerpt used with permission from Dessert First: Preparing for Death While Savoring Life © Chalice Press, 2019, which releases this week. Learn more and purchase here.

As a pastor with 10 years of experience in ministry, I have not yet come across a resource quite like this. This book teaches individuals and families to put just much time into dying well as they do into living well. Dana gives practical tools and advice in how to be a “death doula” and aid your loved one in the dying process. She also shares an honest account of her grieving process which offers comfort to anyone who has lost a loved one. She shows in her grieving process that there is sadness and tears, but there is also laughter and hope.
Dana’s vulnerability, humor, and practical advice make this book a must read for anyone who is journeying with a loved one in the final stages of death, as well as those grieving their loved ones. It is also a helpful resource for pastors and for families who are going through this experience.
Everyone should by this book! It is an easy and insightful read that will benefit your life and the way you look at death.

It goes on sale today and you can buy it here.

dana trent
J. Dana Trent

Author Bio

The Rev. J. Dana Trent is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and professor of World Religions and Critical Thinking at Wake Tech Community College. An ordained Baptist minister and former hospital chaplain, she has been featured on Time.com, Religion News Service, Religion Dispatches, as well as in Sojourners and The Christian Century. Her fourth book, Dessert First: Preparing for Death While Savoring Life releases in September 2019 from Chalice Press. It chronicles lessons on life, death, and grief from the bedsides of the dying–including her mother. Dana is also the award-winning author of books on holistic wellness and multi-faith spiritual practices: One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation ; For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community ; and Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk. She is a certified group fitness instructor and teaches for the YMCA. She and her husband Fred are longtime vegetarians and live in Raleigh, NC, with their orange tabby cat.

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