With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial

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With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial

With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial

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This was a book to take in slowly, chapter per chapter, intimate and tender story per intimate and beautifully written story. Even then, death is often held at bay and life prolonged at all costs: the fragile and disintegrating body is plugged into machines, pumped full of oxygen and blood and drugs, its gallant heart restarted and kept going, no matter the pain, no matter the hopelessness of the endeavour, no matter that at a certain point this isn’t living, just a slowed-down, drawn-out, painful and undignified dying. The book is unique in giving a doctor’s perspective but telling the stories of patients and their families, so we see a whole range of emotions and attitudes: denial, anger, regret, fear and so on. I now feel better educated in just how much these excellent care teams can do to support people and their families at the end of life. We can recognise the progress of life-limiting illness; we can predict, less reliably early on yet with increasing accuracy as death comes closer.

There are lots of moving stories in here, extremely well written - and I'm sure that this doctor has done a lot of good things. It's rare I can say this, but this book has changed my life by making me less afraid of my own death. Having qualified as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist in 1993, she started the UK s (possibly the world s) first CBT clinic exclusively for palliative care patients, and devised CBT First Aid training to enable palliative care colleagues to add new skills to their repertoire for helping patients. At the end of each batch of stories there is a "pause for thought" section to allow people to consider their own positions. Her purpose is to describe many forms of death – the young man with testicular cancer treated in the room dubbed “the Lonely Ballroom”, the dying mother in the hospice who manages to walk her daughter up the aisle, the 22-year-old with cystic fibrosis, the teenager with leukaemia – and to show how in each case, while a death may be emotionally harrowing, it need not be intolerably painful; while it may be tragic, it need not be ghastly or full of the chaos that accompanies too many ends.My rekindled interest at the end of last year in death and subjects surrounding it continues with this fascinating book, which I received as a free proof in exchange for an honest review. This outstanding book, which was shortlisted for this year's Wellcome Book Prize and was written by a palliative care physician in the UK, describes several remarkable people she cared for at the end of their lives, their families and other loved ones, and her experiences and lessons learned during her four decades in clinical practice.

In With the End in Mind , she shares beautifully crafted stories from a lifetime of caring for the dying, and makes a case for the therapeutic power of approaching death not with trepidation, but with openness, clarity, and understanding.Yet in her desire to show that death can be well managed, she leaves out the mess, fear, pain and unpredictability of so much dying – its scandal, its wildness and its impossibility. I have also shared it with friends who have family needing end-of-life care - knowing the trajectory of the journey stopped it being the unknown. It sounds kind of harsh, yet one out of forty chapters made me lower my general score with one star. Beautifully written, filled with compassion and understanding, along with a practical and kind approach to facing death. With meditations on life, death, and the space between them, With the End in Mind describes the possibility of meeting death gently, with forethought and preparation, and shows the unexpected beauty, dignity, and profound humanity of life coming to an end.

I have referred to that one a number of times when talking to people who were in fear of their death, and I can see how this one would be even more comforting. Most outrageous was the agitated woman given medication to counteract the agitation some other medication had caused. But so often, dying people and their families remain unprepared because our fear about death has become a fear about even mentioning dying. I really would hope that this book would be widely read and not simply by those directly interested from a medical perspective - as the author tells us we will all die one day.Mannix's sincere loving care and compassion radiate from the pages of this beautifully written account of her daily life, professional training, clinical practice and most of all, fragile patients. I think this book is as much about how to interact with people who are facing death as it is about the different ways people face their own death. It’s the great nothing; the everything, which makes us and unmakes us, and to which we all come in the end. As well as the stories and the "guide to dying" it is a good insight into palliative care and hospices generally; on what they do or hope to do. The narratives feel generic; the people often feel generic, as though all their idiosyncrasies have been sanded down or air-brushed out.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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