Passings : Death, Dying, and Unexplained Phenomena

Passings : Death, Dying, and Unexplained Phenomena
Carole Travis-Henikoff
February 2010
Social Sciences
6 x 9

A Fascinating Look at Death, Dying, and Unexplained Phenomena
From the Author of Dinner with a Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind’s Oldest Taboo, honored by Choice magazine as one of its “Outstanding Academic Titles” of 2008

From dream research and global belief systems to such unexplained phenomena as bright lights, prescient dreams, near-death and out-of-body experiences, Passingsdelves into every aspect of the end of life. Taking a scientific and anthropological approach, Carole A. Travis-Henikoff looks at how other cultures deal with death, how diverse kinds of death are treated differently, and how belief systems set the tone for grieving.

In addition to the use of science and anthropology, Travis-Henikoff includes both her own personal experiences with the end of life as well as the stories of others who help illustrate the striking realities of passing. Beginning with the many deaths that occurred during Travis-Henikoff’s childhood, Passings moves into an up-close-and-personal look at the tragic three-and-a-half-year period when Travis-Henikoff lost her father, husband, grandmother, mother, and daughter.

By combining the personal, the scientific, and the unexplained, Passings offers a comprehensive investigation into the end of life that allows readers to both examine their own individual beliefs about the subject and to gain a better understanding about how we as a species cope with death and dying.

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Author Information
Carole A. Travis-Henikoff

is the author of Passings and Dinner with a Cannibal, which was honored by Choicemagazine as one of its “Outstanding Academic Titles” of 2008. As an independent scholar specializing in paleoanthropology, she has worked with the Getty Conservation team on the preservation of artifacts at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt, and participated in an archeological dig alongside J. Desmond Clark, Tim White, Nicholas Toth, and Kathy Schick under the auspices of the Institute of Human Origins. She sits on the board of directors for the Stone Age Institute, and has given lectures on paleoanthropology at Loyola University (Chicago) and Rush University Medical Center (Chicago). She divides her time between Chicago, Illinois, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


“Travis-Henikoff opens up and shares with readers some of the most painful moments of her life, involving the illnesses and deaths of loved ones. I found her examples of pre-cognitive dreams, near death experiences and phenomena that took place upon one’s passing from this life to be compelling and unsettling. She also investigates these experiences from a metaphysical angle, such as the light that so many people claim to see in near-death experiences . Travis-Henikoff not only explores the moment of death itself, but the events and processes leading up to passing from this life. It’s definitely a memorable read and I highly recommend the book.”
Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Carole Travis-Henikoff’s fascinating story raises questions and mysteries, the kinds of questions that modern science is often afraid to acknowledge and the kinds of mysteries that both scare us and give us hope. It is folly to ignore how many people have experiences like those she describes.”
Father Andrew Greeley, priest, sociologist, journalist, and best-selling author

Passings is an important book and should be published for all of those who struggle through the experience of death without anything to guide them through the storms of conflicting emotions.”
John Allman, neuroscientist, Caltech, and an expert on primates, cognition, and evolutionary neuroscience

“In Passings: Death, Dying, and Unexplained Phenomena, a new book by Carole A. Travis-Heinkoff, there are no answers and yet there is completion. By using science and anthropology, the personal and the unexplained, the author guides readers to examine their individual beliefs and also understand how we, as a species, deal with death and dying.”
Orange County Register

“Here is the other side of cancer. I could see, for the first time, the mates and caregivers of my leukemia patients. I had never paid them any attention and so many of them were in worse shape than the patient. I will never again treat only my patients. How could I not have noticed? I put the book down and went over years of patients in my head, recognizing which spouses had suffered while I stood blind. Every doctor should read this book.”
Harvey Preisler, former Head of Oncology, Rush Medical University, Chicago

“You have integrated incredible times of reality with experiences we have yet to understand or replicate. And you have kept your head above the waters. I have never read anything to match it.”
Daniel Buxhoeveden, brain evolution specialist and affiliated faculty member of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina

“I think your book is very important. The wealth of your extraordinary experiences will help many.”
Roger Lewin, anthropologist and author of over 20 books, including Origins Reconsidered, Bones of Contention, and Principles of Human Evolution