When Adrian Beardsley is diagnosed with cancer at age forty-nine, no one can imagine how quickly death will come, nor the challenges it will present. This moving memoir of life’s most mysterious experience brings us into the light of an eternal grace.
A profound and inspirational story about one man’s death, at the age of 50, that left everyone present in a state of awe and watching as a soul become enlightened. At first, Mary wrote this book for herself, for her husband, and for her children. She also wrote to process her grief, for healing and for solace. But she continued writing for you. For the you who also questions what this thing called death is. As she was writing Mary came to deeply understand that she did not want to wait any longer. In living this life, Mary now seeks to actively burn her own wood, cry her own tears and continues to unfetter her heart in order to love and live in such a way that when it is her time to die, she might be carried out with a full wind underneath every unfurled sail of her being, which was just the way her husband died. A companion for the dying, for those losing a loved one, and for all of us wishing to arrive at our own deaths well prepared.

Click on the button below to find out more and to purchase a copy of The Final Act of Grace, or if you’re a Hobart local you can purchase a copy at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart City, The State Cinema Bookshop in North Hobart or The Hobart Bookshop at Salamanca Square, Hobart.

Reviews of The Final Act of Grace

Through beautiful prose, and strong visual imagery, this book uncovers many layers of self-revelation and invites the reader to do the same. It encourages us, urges us, to ask penetrating questions that need to be asked about how to live and die consciously, and which are rarely answered with the deep and open-hearted wisdom Mary shares with us in these pages.

‘Wow! Mary I just finished the book in two days.  I didn’t want to put it down.  I love the way you write. I felt connected all the way through. Thank you for sharing this. I loved reading about how you met, what Adie was like as a younger man and how you navigated the highs and lows of your relationship. I also loved the Camino journey and the truly wonderful quotes and poems scattered throughout. You have a true gift.’


‘I stayed in my bedroom all day with your amazing book. So, so much resonated with me. You write so beautifully about such sensitive things that are needed more than anything in our world today…very much how Steiner understands spirit, experience and life forces and well-being. I appreciated your expression very much!’ ️

‘The Swiss Alps accompanied the sounds and images of the book from “The Final Act of Grace” whilst I was softly rocked in a silk hammock. Tears rolled down my face the whole day as I was being blessed and soaked by the energy of the art of Mary words. The way Mary writes, how she transforms her energy into words have touched me deeply. It touched me with magic. I read the book with whole my soul non-stop in one day. What a blessing. Thank You. I’m in awe of your spiritual art.’

‘Wow, it’s very powerful.  I was quite struck by your honesty and rawness. It was indeed an easy read, although difficult at times to really appreciate what you went through.  You told a very deep and personal story.’

‘Mary has given us all a true gift with writing The Final Act of Grace, Mastering a Peaceful Death. I will keep this gift close to my heart and also share with loved ones. Death like birth can be difficult and yet incredibly beautiful during the transformation when seen through new eyes and an awakened spirit. Mary takes you on an intimate personal life journey of true love full of joy, pain, grief, vulnerability, forgiveness, humor, kindness, and peace with grace. This true love is beautifully described while her loving husband was physically here and then beyond. I am grateful to Mary and her family for sharing this story and detailing their experience with the mystery of afterlife. Where there is love there is no fear.’

‘Mary you are one extraordinary woman and the book a masterpiece.’

‘This book cocoons you in joy and sorrow. Its great treasure is helping to understand that life and death are ONE. With gentleness and love, this book encourages and inspires us to participate in death as keenly as we participate in life. Thank you for sharing your journey of deep grief to profound grace. To grace, stillness and light’.

‘The Final Act of Grace is a beautiful expression of profound love and loss of a very dear friend. Mary’s words are eloquent, deeply moving, insightful and a wonderful tribute. It is a privilege to turn each page and delve into her personal story as she generously offers insight and comfort at the end of life, as Adie transitions to a peaceful death. It is a very special story that will resonate around the world and touch your heart.’

‘I have finished reading your amazing book. It certainly does show the merging and interconnectedness of bliss and death. I was completely absorbed by your time on the walk. Beautiful work Mary.’

‘This book is the most generous gift.  It is so personal and intimate.   You have shared so much of yourself and your life.  This is why it is so giving.  It is also full of guidance, on a life well-lived, and a beautiful death’.

‘A wonderfully written story of family life and challenges, Purchased the book this morning and couldn’t put it down – finished with lots of tears and joy.’

‘Like so many others. I could not put it down until it was finished. Beautifully written, so very honest and insightful. You should be very proud of this book. I can see how much it has taken to achieve and I am proud of you. It is a privilege to share your story. Thank you.’

‘Thank you for sharing your experience of death, of the death of your beloved Adie, your ideas around death and love and living.  It was comforting, challenging, inspiring to read. The last couple of deaths I have been privileged enough to witness, to be with, have allowed me to really see the wonder of death, and I’ve been sitting with the words, ‘the miracle of death’, because it really does seem to me to be a miracle. It’s such a comfort and an affirmation to hear someone speak of death with similar language, expressing similar ideas. And having the courage, the will power, to write it down and make it available to the world with the hope that we can move past the fear that currently fills the space around death. I dream of a time when, as a society, we can encounter death, embrace it when the time comes, with love, positivity and maybe even excitement, alongside the sadness and heartbreak.’


This book, ‘The Final Act of Grace’ by Mary Dwyer should be read by everyone including nurses, palliative carers and specialists, doulas, funeral directors, those scared of dying, those grieving, those coming to terms with someone’s imminent death… It is masterfully crafted as a piece of writing, it is a beacon of hope for all of us who want to see this shift in society towards death awareness, mindfulness and literacy and it is one of the most personal and moving accounts of a journey towards death and the bereavement after death that I have ever read. Ever. The wisdom and insight contained herein is remarkable and profound.’

I may Mary and her amazing family as a teenager over 40 years ago. That family was and still is so full of love despite amazing personality and philosophical differences among 9 siblings. Despite knowing Mary for all that time our paths rarely crossed and I have never met Adie, Jack or Ella. The Final Act of Grace is a book about courage as well as grace. Adie’s courage and grace in facing death and being so unselfish about it, Mary’s courage to write this book and the grace her life has become to help others. The courage and grace of Jack and Ella to allow their Mum expose their love and grief is a key ingredient that is essential to the book. At times I cried real tears, laughed out loud, felt anger and joy while reading The Final Act of Grace. It was so enthralling I read it from cover to cover in one sitting. There are lessons in this book for all of us as we face our turn to leave the mortal coil. It might sound trite, but in popular vernacular it’s a ripping yarn.

The mark of a great book (to me) is one that I can not put down and where the rest of the world disappears. I sat down to Mary’s book and did not put it back down until I finished the last page. It completely captured me and left me with a resonance of inspired awe. Quite simply, The Final Act of Grace is a magnificent and courageous piece of writing taking it’s reader on a journey of the human experience. It is poignant, heart-felt and raw as the magic of the story unfolds. While this is very much Mary, Adie and her family’s story, it is a story for us all – exploring our fears around death and the possibility of enlightenment, as Adie so gracefully and beautifully transitions from this world to the next. Adie’s death propels Mary into deep grief and enquiry presenting her with questions around everything from identity, parenting, love, the meaning of life and relationship. Put this on your list of must reads.

The Final Act of Grace is a beautiful expression of profound love and loss of a very dear friend. Mary’s words are eloquent, deeply moving, insightful and a wonderful tribute. I thank her for allowing the world to share the essence of Adie’s gentle soul & magnificent spirit. It is a privilege to turn each page and delve into her personal story as she generously offers insight and comfort at the end of life, as Adie transitions to a peaceful death. It is a very special story that will resonate around the world and touch your heart.

© 2018 Mary Dwyer | All Rights Reserved |  Privacy Policy