Cover Image: Briefly Perfectly Human

Briefly Perfectly Human

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Member Reviews

OMG Alua is such a beautiful story teller and funny. We all must face two core truths about being human - we will eventually die, and denying this fact prevents us from truly living life to the fullest. This is something Alua Arthur understands deeply, and conveys with passionate vitality throughout her book. I appreciate the stories of your dad as similarly when my dad asks my answer is always yes.

By boldly confronting our mortality, Arthur shows how we can wake up to embracing every moment completely, finding profound gratitude and authentic presence. Her vivid writing urges us to let go of our fears and self-deceptions so that we can live vividly, with clarity of purpose. Arthur's unflinching look at our existential realities is a wake-up call to kindle the fires of meaningful living within each reader.

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Teach me how to doula, teach me teach me how to doula!

Alua Arthur is an attorney-turned-death-doula. She takes readers on a mesmerizing journey of this little thing we call life in her debut memoir BRIEFLY, PERFECTLY HUMAN.

Alua is the literal definition of sunshine – she’s fiercely and unapologetically herself and makes the most out of the time she has left in this lifetime – something we should ALL look at as motivation to live more authentic and fulfilling lives. As a death doula for the last decade, she talks about standout moments in her career, the special people she’s gotten to know and work closely with and what led her to making the jump as an attorney to starting her own business in the first place. As a book that’s solely about death and dying, Alua fills the pages with plenty of humor and highlight-worthy bits of wisdom so it never feels as heavy.

Talking about death is still a taboo topic for so many and I love how Alua is breaking the barrier around that conversation and reminding readers that it’s something we’ll all face at some point in our lives and that it’s okay to talk about it. It’s a solid reminder to stop waiting for Friday or waiting for the weekend to live our lives. Make the most out of every day, don’t lose yourself in the corporate hustle and make sure you tell the special people in your life that you love them every chance that you can.

Thanks @MarinerBooks for the advanced digital copy of BRIEFLY, PERFECTLY HUMAN. Make sure to snag your copy April 16, 2024!

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5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Briefly Perfectly Human, Making an Authentic Life by Getting Real About the End"
by Alua Arthur

Disclosure: Longtime fan of Alia Arthur, "Going With Grace". on Instagram.

This author has me looking at the dying process through a different set of goggles, ones that I am comfortable wearing. She infuses grace and compassion into the inevitable cycle of life's end. There is a palpable depth of tenderness that the reader easily feels while reading along. I found Briefly Perfectly Human filled with so much more than the snapshots on IG. and found her backstory to fill in some questions I had.

As the book progresses, the reader comes away with a more in depth look at what it means to be an End-of-Life Doula (superhero in my eyes!) by sharing experiences with clients. Alua invites the reader to pull up a chair with death in all its intricacies. By doing so, this book teaches more about how to live while dying and especially how to have the conversations that most people shy away from but are so needed by those who are faced with their end of life. I have entertained the thought of pursuing end of life studies for many years as a RN, and this book was the final push I needed to enroll in a program I have been looking at. Thank you for that! There is no one who is untouched by the experience of loss through death, making this book invaluable to all.

Many thanks to Mariner Books and Netgalley for this ARC. All opinions expressed are authentically my own.

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Damn, Alua Arthur. Damn!!!

I first took an interest in the death positive movement after my mom and grandma died 5 weeks apart in 2021. I found Caitlin Doughty's work first, and then Alua's, and even took the Mortal course they co-created together. Alua's memoir does NOT disappoint!

This book is a lovely blend of stories about the clients Alua has worked with as a death doula and also her own personal journey to becoming a death doula. Structure-wise, this made it fun to read as it wasn't super repetitive or full of cheesy lessons that all started to blur together. I never knew where this book was going, and that's not often the case with memoirs! One minute we were talking about a racist old man she death doula'd and then the next we were talking about the death of Michael Jackson. I loved the unexpectedness of this book.

Alua did a beautiful job of weaving her story together with her themes and her focus on death work. I also so, so appreciate that she emphasized honesty and truth, the nonsense of the pressure to never speak ill of the dead, and the complicatedness of grieving someone who was not a kind person, not universally beloved, and left a mixed legacy. We don't talk about that enough!

The final pages of this book were so moving, I found myself tearing up. I would highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in mortality, death doula-ing, and LIFE!

[FYI -- I will be sharing a review on TikTok this week as well].

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"Briefly Perfectly Human" by Alua Arthur is a poignant exploration of the human experience in the face of mortality. Arthur, a death doula, weaves together personal anecdotes and professional insights to create a compassionate and thought-provoking narrative. The book challenges societal taboos surrounding death and invites readers to confront their own mortality with grace and understanding.

Arthur's prose is both eloquent and accessible, making complex topics approachable for a wide audience. She skillfully navigates the emotional landscape of loss, offering a refreshing perspective on the inevitable journey we all share. The book encourages introspection, prompting readers to contemplate the meaning of a life well-lived and the significance of embracing our impermanence.

As a guide to navigating the difficult conversations and decisions surrounding death, "Briefly Perfectly Human" is a valuable resource. Arthur's empathy shines through every page, creating a space for readers to find solace and empowerment in the face of life's most profound certainty. This book is a timely and necessary contribution to the literature on death and dying, offering wisdom and compassion for anyone on the journey of being perfectly, briefly human.

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"Briefly Perfectly Human" is a transformative memoir that challenges societal perceptions of death and reframes its significance in our lives. Alua Arthur, a prominent figure in the realm of death doula practice, uses her profound experiences and insight to provide a compassionate, thought-provoking perspective on the end of life.

As the founder of "Going with Grace," Arthur's life's work is centered on infusing grace and compassion into the inevitable cycle of life's end. Her multifaceted background as a death doula, attorney, and educator has equipped her with the tools and empathy needed to guide individuals through the intricate process of preparing for the end of life.

Through resounding storytelling and a passionate plea for embracing compassionate end-of-life care, Arthur invites readers to confront our mortality. She encourages what she terms "death embrace," advocating for candid discussions and careful planning that not only eases the burden on loved ones but also unlocks profound insights and personal growth for the person facing the end of life.

The book is not just a memoir but a narrative that weaves together the threads of Arthur's own encounters with death and transformation. Drawing from her personal experiences, including fleeing a violent coup in Ghana, battling severe depression, and supporting a loved one through terminal illness, she illuminates the power of acknowledging our mortality.

Arthur doesn't shy away from the stark realities; instead, she guides readers through the process of sitting with death, allowing it to become a catalyst for self-reflection and personal growth. She delves into the nuances of the dying process, illuminating how our bodies convey stories of our lives and the profound transformation they undergo in the final chapters. With grace and wisdom, Arthur navigates the intricacies of envisioning our own end of life, inviting readers to reflect on our desires and hopes for our final moments. By sharing her aspirations and reflections, she inspires contemplation and introspection, challenging readers to consider the significance and impact of our own mortality.

"Briefly Perfectly Human" is an invitation to embrace the profound inevitability of death and harness it as a force for self-discovery and growth. Alua Arthur's eloquent and tender prose guides readers through the complex emotional landscape of mortality, urging us to confront our own stories, fears, and hopes regarding the ultimate end.

This book is not just about death; it's about life—how we live, how we love, and how we honor the essence of our existence. Thank you to the author and publisher for the e-arc copy!

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (5/5 stars)

#BrieflyPerfectlyHuman #AluaArthur #DeathDoula #MortalityReflection #BookReview #LifeReflection

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