"There is no pattern to the way people die, as character, beliefs, and readiness all play a part."

In this poignant and thought-provoking work, the author strives to shed light on the taboo subject of death. Through her work as a palliative care nurse in Australia, she shares case studies of the many patients with whom she has worked. Emphasizing lessons learned from each one, she introduces a concept of end-of-life care in which patients are treated with dignity and where every effort is given to relieve both physical and emotional pain and to ease anxiety. After her return to nursing school following her mother’s death, the author found herself drawn to the field of holistic palliative care. This book offers a window into a world which listens to those facing death with illustrative case studies to back up the hands-on research.

It is clear that the author is passionate about her subject. She writes about the world of holistic palliative end-of-life care with the vast knowledge that years of helping families traverse the path between life and death affords. Yet, she shows much humility in her handling of the subject, pointing out that as each person is different, so is each death, and the greatest gift one can give the dying is to listen. Her assessment is that many of our modern practices of dealing with the dying have been put into place more as a means of alleviating the discomfort of the caregiver than that of the patient. It is an enlightening view concerning end-of-life care. Not only does she offer valuable ideas about caring for the patient, but she also gives concrete example from her own experiences to back up those ideas. Clear and concise, this is a must-read testament to the ritual of sharing in a loved one’s death.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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