Michele Tamaren & Michael
An End of Life Story Without End
to listen to and/or download an mp3 recording of Michele Tamaren & Mike Wittner discussing
their book ExtraOrdinary
(July 15, 2010 Pearlsong Conversation)
Michele Tamaren, M.A. is a writer, presenter, spiritual mentor, and life coach. She
lectures widely on spirituality, healing, and happiness, as well as compassionate care and spiritual growth at the
end of life. Michele engages audiences of medical personnel, psychologists, social workers, chaplains, clergy,
spiritual mentors, and professional and family caregivers.
For more than twenty-five years Michele taught special education, working with youngsters challenged by physical,
learning, social, emotional, and behavioral disorders. She presented self-esteem and anti-bullying workshops
throughout the United States and Canada.
Michele is the founder of the multi-faith Council for Spiritual Connection that brings together those
of all traditions to celebrate our shared humanity. In 2010 she was presented with the Anti-Defamation
League’s Leonard P. Zakim Humanitarian Award for fostering interfaith harmony.
Visit her at www.micheletamaren.com.
Mike Wittner is graduating from Bard College with a B.A. in sociology. Next year he will
teach in underserved schools as a part of the City Year Americorps Program. He likes to read, write,
think about politics, and take long walks, preferably all at the same time.
"In this deeply moving and inspiring account, Tamaren and Wittner share the life story of a man close to
their hearts. When Michele’s mother, Betty, married Herman Liss (she was 55 and he was 65), Tamaren finally had
a father figure she adored. Always joyful, Herman exuded a love for life that was contagious. His sincere
concern for others, his keen intelligence, and his natural grace generated hundreds of meaningful friendship
throughout his life. Wittner, who first met Herman as a result of a community service requirement in his high
school, became a devoted friend to the older man when Herman nearly lost the resolve to live after Betty’s
death. The authors recall, in simple but evocative language, how Herman always encouraged others to follow
their dreams and how deep was his commitment to treat others as he would want to be treated. Readers can expect
tears to flow as Herman’s life inspires them to be better."
"ExtraOrdinary invites us to explore that which is true and enduring, even beyond our last
breath. The spiritual memoir of Herman and Betty Liss, knit with grace and skill, humor and compassion, bridges
generations and cultures and faiths. It cuts through darkness and despair with a laser-sharp beam of hope and
healing, dancing us into our own hearts, making love real."
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.
Bestselling author, scientist, psychologist
& pioneer in the mind-body-spirit connnection
"This is a true-life tale of transformation. In the pages of
ExtraOrdinary you will enter into a sacred space where illusory divisions dissolve and
the lines between this world and the next are thin. Through tears and laughter you will marvel at the
love shared in a nursing home that became a house of healing for one special resident and all those he
Rev. Dr. Ruth Ragovin
Senior Minister, First Christian Church
"A beautifully written story about the incomparable Herman Liss, told by the daughter who
adored him for 30 years and the young boy who knew him for only one. Through their words they shine a
brilliant light on a remarkable man whom every reader will wish they, too, could have met. I only wish I
had this book in my hands as I was caring for my own mother."
New York Times bestselling author
The Onassis Women & Where's Whitey?
"In a world where our Western elders have forfeited their own wisdom, here is a book that
calls them back, that tells them the road is possible. Even greater, it denies nothing of their struggle,
but uses that as the way and the giver of blessing."
Award-winning author of
Meditations with Teresa of Avila: A Journey into the Sacred
"A must read! ExtraOrdinary: An End of Life Story Without End is at once
unique and universal. With brilliance and depth, Michele Tamaren and Michael Wittner write of love, loss
and the enduring human spirit. This is a book that enters your heart and touches your
author of Syd Arthur & Beyond Measure