ExtraOrdinary: An End of Life Story Without End

ExtraOrdinary: An End of Life Story Without End is a spiritual memoir and love story about a man who became a healer and a teacher in his nineties as his life was coming to completion.

Herman Liss, an Orthodox Jew, was described by a Christian mystic with the Buddhist term, Bodhisattva: a person who returns to this life to help lift others on their soul journey.

It is said that great sages often come in the form of ordinary people. Herman Liss, my stepfather, was such a man.

ExtraOrdinary tells of the love between Herman and his wife, Betty, which continued even after her passing. 

It shares the love between an elder and a young volunteer eighty years his junior and between a father and his adult daughter. Also, it explores how a nursing home resident and hospice patient, through his compassion and his wisdom, helped to heal those who cared for him.

This book is written in two voices, my own, Herman’s daughter not by blood but by blessing, and the voice of Herman’s young volunteer, Michael Wittner, who created a documentary, A Mensch and More, about the sacred passage from loss and despair to connection and joy.

For the film and his exceptional volunteer work, Michael was honored with state and regional awards. Herman taught by example how to love, how to listen, how to forgive, and how to be grateful for each day. Rather than a tragedy, this is a story of growth and learning, a joining of generations and cultures and hearts.