A Night on Buddy's Bench
An Evocative Story about Love, Grief and Finding Peace at the End of Life
A Night on Buddy’s Bench was written as a way through grief and loss after our family experienced multiple unexpected deaths of loved ones, young and old. In the five years since its publication, the book has traveled around the world to places as diverse as New York, Sweden, and a Tibetan monastery. While grief is intensely personal, holding and honoring our feelings of both loss and the preciousness of life is a universal spiritual calling – one that many of us are now confronting as we lose loved ones, colleagues, and friends to Covid-19.
However painful, grief can also be a gift. When we face the experience of grief, when we allow ourselves to wrestle with it, when we allow it to flow through us, grief can release us into the rhythms of life where strength and courage can be found. We hope reading, listening to, and sharing A Night on Buddy’s Bench helps you and your loved ones reflect upon and honor the end of life and the transition to death as a sacred place and time.
Second Edition Now Available
With Updated Preface and Introduction
A Night on Buddy's Bench is an extraordinary resource for helping people grasp the concept that end of life is a sacred time. The thought- provoking story allowed me to reflect on my own losses over the years and my confusion and fear about grief. My family did not talk about death and grief was to be borne silently. For too long, I experienced grief as anger. Your book has given me an additional perspective regarding the importance of feeling our emotions and honestly sharing our feelings with others. As a Hospice volunteer, I will use your book and the accompanying guide with those I tend and with loved ones and friends who find themselves facing death and experiencing grief and loss.
Thank you, Ira, for your important work and gift of
A Night on Buddy's Bench.
Excerpt from A Night on Buddy's Bench
“The writing is absolutely breathtaking. The symbols used in the book allowed me take a step back and really look into what was being shared about the old man’s life, his peace and his death. I would love the opportunity to share this with our volunteers, and families in order to help them gain a better understanding.”
- Betty J Dunsmoor
LMSW, ACSW, PhD
Oswego County Hospice Volunteer / Bereavement Coordinator
Director of Camp Rainbow of Hope
A Pilgrim’s Way through Grief –
A Guide to A Night on Buddy’s Bench
A Pilgrim’s Way through Grief is a collaboration with the Hospice Palliative Care Association of New York State. (HPCANYS). This guide explores the story of Buddy’s Bench and how to use the book as a springboard for journaling and artistic expression as forms of healing.
Read HPCANYS endorsement
This booklet is designed for Pilgrims to record and/or draw about their experiences facing their own or another’s death, wrestling with loss and grief, and making meaning out of holding grief and gratitude together.
"My mom died in December, my dad seemed to be in decline ... A Night on Buddy’s Bench led my soul, and inspired me to write." -Reader
This 6-minute film introduces the spirit that inhabits Buddy’s Bench – what we might encounter when we are called to face, find meaning, and be transformed through grief and loss.
“Very few of us are spared a journey through the wilderness of grief in this life. Your inspired, brave, compassionate guidebook is going to be a comfort to many on their journey. Your efforts are a blessed service to humanity.”
Founder and Director, American Meditation Institute
Hearts Quarantined Series
Newest Edition Now Available
Here in this lovely chapbook is an abundance of heart, a reaching out and opening to allow all of us, any of us, to open-up and reach back, or as Ira says, to “lean in.” From these poems and doodles in Hearts Quarantined, we can learn patience with ourselves and others, we are invited to let our broken hearts open to love, and we are reminded that faith and hope are lanterns that offer light in dark times.
-Tom Parker, PhD
Retired Humanities Professor, Chico State, CA
“Through your writing, doodles, and voice you offer a clear and sensitive view of our world and a vision of what it can be. Thank you for sharing your heart and thus giving us space in which to share ours.”
–Venice Peace Project