Testimonies | Crossing the Creek

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your generosity of spirit in allowing us to download your book for free. Back in 2008 when my mom was placed on hospice, the hospice social worker gave me a copy (in retrospect, it was what appeared to be a downloaded copy of the book). Death has always fascinated me, and Crossing the Creek just added deeper levels of understanding the dying process. Over the years, I shared those handouts with friends and co-workers who were about to lose someone. It truly removes fear, doubt and guilt for family members and allows them to be more mindful, present and in tune to the whole process of dying. I’ve even shared my understanding with friends and family who were in the midst of crossing over as well. Your book is truly a game changer, and I am so happy I came across this free download of it as I misplaced or lost my copy when I retired from work and was cleaning out my office.  (Jo-Anne T. Carricarte)

Thank you so much for publishing Crossing the Creek online. This will truly be an asset for our spiritual life department and the nursing department. It will help all of us to be sensitive and more understanding of the dying process.

We have some staff who find it very difficult not to give food or liquids when someone is in the stages of dying. It also helps in realizing that during the sleeping periods issues are coming to some completion that were not previously. I could say more but just I feel this guide is an excellent resource for us.”
(Sister Francis)

“I would to say thank you for such a wonderful book. It helped me and my family to understand why my mother was saying the things she said during her dying process. I felt that the book was intriguing because as we sat with her reading the book, she was doing and saying the very things that were described. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is the care taker of family member of someone who is in the dying process. It is so very much a comfort to understand everything that is happening to your loved one.”
(Katy Latiolais)

I first learned about Michael and Crossing the Creek more than ten years ago. I teaching medical-surgical nursing and older adult nursing care. I was a hospice nurse before full time teaching. Over the years I have ordered many copies of Crossing the Creek for student use, putting them in school libraries and gifting them to students in need. I have to be one of your biggest fans. thank you so much for sharing, the nursing students always are very interested in your words and experiences. Families of those who are dying find the information very helpful. (Dr. Mary Kathleen Ebener)

Thank you for your treatise  “Crossing the Creek” from myself and on behalf of several persons whose loved ones are in the twilight zone of living.

My name is Edward Tarchalski, I and  my wife lived in South Africa for 30 years, from 1943 to 1973 and then we transferred to USA. Our 3 children were born in South Africa -daughter in Moedersbond in Pretoria and two sons in Johannesburg.  I lived in Cape Town and then in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

I am retired and we live in a large retirement center called Riderwood (between Washington and Baltimore)with 2700 retired residents which also has about 250 person division with assisted living, Parkinson and Alzheimer and other sections.  In all sections there are groups of Care Providers who meet monthly, the purpose of which is to speak of their loved ones, their modes of behavior and their own feelings about dying. My wife developed what appeared to be Parkinson but was finally identified as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. She has been in Assisted living for 3 years. She was given Sinemet of several doses but there was no effect. She is now completely immobile, cannot speak, cannot perform any function, has good appetite and can occasionally utter an understandable  word. She is otherwise well and of course has good care. She has no life of any kind- it is existence awaiting death.

Your treatise has been very welcome. None of the group of our self-help have seen anything on the subject so well put in your treatise. Neither have nursing staff.  We thank you again. (Edward Tarchalski)

A couple years ago my sister had a hard copy of Michael’s book that I read when my almost 90-yr-old dad was dying, and I had the honor and burden of being there with him through the stroke, until thankfully he slipped into the coma that seemed to end the pain in his head, and he died a few hours later. He died at my sister’s home where I moved he and mom a few years prior.

I read Crossing The Creek again a little more than a year later when my almost 89-yr-old mother lay dying, also of a stroke. No heart disease, and my dad’s dad had none either when he died at age 88; I guess I know MY fate!

But I also looked up information about Michael Holmes to learn more about him. In doing so I found some essays he had written. Crossing The Creek (CTC) of course has some spiritual comments and he obviously is a spiritual person, but I suppose as much as possible he avoided that intentionally, so as not to alienate a whole lot of people from reading CTC. Everyone should read it, and read it again, as needed. He did address religion and Faith in at least one of the 2 essays I found, and I thought I had saved them in my permanent file back-ups.

An elderly friend from church is now dying, she is about my mother’s age, and that is the reason I have tried to do some things for her. Also because her own family doesn’t do much, or visit her much. Helen is one reason I went looking for those essays, but could not find them. I forget the title from the link, as this website is not the same one I accessed back in 2013 when I googled his name. Can you provide a link? I’m off to see Helen again now at the hospital. (David Ziegler)

Nelia, thank you so much for listening when God spoke to you about this book, this information…
Michael, thank you so much for sharing years of experience to those of us who have none of that – but will be needing it…
I’ve ‘scanned’ it, and can’t wait to read it through, in a study’ing way; and to tell others about it.
So grateful.
God is ever-good!!!
Godbless to you! (Jose Suarez, translato: Spanish version of Crossing the Creek)

I first heard about this book from my Dad after Mom died.He had read about some of the ideas in the book and he was comforted. I was unable to find it at that time. Dad has been gone now since 2005. I have been unable to find a copy -rather than a download. Is it still available? Thank you.  (John Meeker)

My sister and I recently cared for my dad in south Africa in his last days at home. He had kidney failure and spent the last 2 weeks of his life in bed in his own home. Your writing and insight helped us tremendously understand the dying process …. which helped us cope while watching our wonderful dad disappear. It’s amazing how the medical world… and I guess the world in general… try to prolong and avoid death and just make it harder for the person and those around them. At the same time as my dad was dying my uncle was dying in hospital with tubes and oxygen and force fed etc. Watching the difference was amazing. Dad was so peaceful and mainly pain free whereas Uncle was uncomfortable, lonely, and not understood. With me pleading with them to just let him be. Unfortunately I couldn’t care for him at home.

So thank you.

The experience has had a profound impact on me. I’m actually thinking of getting into palliative care as it’s the way to go if you are lucky enough to have that choice. I’d love to be able to help others the way you helped us. Thank you ever so much (Brenda Louw)

I got your booklet in paper form at our local Hospice many years ago. I read it and found it to be the best description imaginable of what to expect at the natural end of life. I gave copies to my siblings when my mother was passing and I have recommended it to so many friends and family since then. To be able to download it here for free is just awesome. Thanks so much for doing this and for spreading the word about natural death to so many.

Hospice is the only way for our family and we have used that service many times. None of us wants to pass in the ICU filled with tubes and being kept alive even when our bodies are ready to leave.  (Penny Maroldo)


I lost my dad in January and am so grateful that one of the hospice nurses loaned me a copy of your book. It was very hard to watch my 97 year old dad, who was so vital until just a few days before he passed away, go through his dying process. Following along his steps through reading your book made the process so much easier for me to deal with and I hope and pray that I, in turn, was able to help him work through it and to know that it was alright to go home. I wish everyone who is losing a loved one could have the benefit of reading your book.

Thank you so much for writing it.

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