“THIN THE VEIL confirms my appreciation of Thoms’ skills in making connections between personal experience and spirituality. I also recognize her gift for story-telling…a book that will be a joy to many.” —Esther de Waal, author.
“In simple moving prose, Thoms gives us deeply felt personal anecdotes that reveal how ancestors, saints, prayer, holy places and sacred spaces can sustain us in our darkest times and how we can create a ‘cairn’ or circle of care around the dying and ourselves…Wise and profound, this extraordinary and beautifully written book is a powerful balm, an uplifting anodyne for each and every soul.” —Ellen Tanner Marsh, best-selling author and New York Times book critic.
“Thoms includes stories of her work as chaplain and spiritual director with the dying and shows how elements of Celtic practice contribute to a good death. These stories provide helpful models to spiritual directors. family and friends of the dying and the dying themselves. Thoms does not impose. Like a good spiritual friend or ‘anam cara’ she listens and suggests….Thoms is nourished by Celtic spirituality, as will be many of her readers. As she notes, ‘There are many ways to experience God.'” –Karen Frank in Presence, An International Journal of Spiritual Direction.
KENMARE, COUNTY KERRY, IRELAND, December 13, 2006 — The study of death and dying is a fairly recent development, most notably contained in the works of Dr. Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross. A convincing new guide to the ways of dying and the rituals of grief as they pertain to the Celtic peoples of Ireland, Scotland and Wales is Penelope Ann Thoms’ richly moving new book, Thin the Veil: Living and Dying within Celtic Spirituality (Booksurge: 2006).
An award-winning poet and writer, Thoms has lived for the past six years in a centuries-old farm cottage near Kenmare, a small village in County Kerry on the far southwest coast of Ireland.
As a hospice chaplain and spiritual director, Thoms introduces us to the rich Celtic history and lore as it relates to death, giving us a sacred place of miracles and extraordinary healing. How, for instance, can we cope with the death of a child? What role can animals play in helping us grieve and face our own deaths? How do we keep the door open to God in our lives?
In simple, moving prose, Thoms gives us deeply felt personal anecdotes that reveal how ancestors, saints, prayer, holy places and sacred spaces can sustain us in our darkest times and how we can create a “cairn” or circle of care around the dying and ourselves.
In her review of Thin the Veil, New York Times best-selling author Ellen Tanner Marsh writes: “Wise and profound, Thoms doesn’t just teach us how to die with grace, but also how to live our lives as fully as possible, noticing the sacred in each and every detail. For anyone who has ever lost a loved one or who is facing his or her own demise, this extraordinary and beautifully written book is a powerful balm, an uplifting anodyne for each and every soul.”