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An Ordinary Death: Where Grief and Relief Hold Hands [Kindle Edition]

Christy Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

Death is the great inevitability. The one commonality that all people experience is that we will all take our first breath and we will all take our last breath. If we think about it at all, we also all long for ordinary, simple deaths.
But our medicalized way of dying destroys that hope.
Right now, Medicare reimburses for all the wrong things. If we keep our elderly and terminally ill in the hospital system, punctured and tortured by one useless and expensive test and procedure after another, Medicare covers the costs. But if we bring them home to offer comfort, gentleness and safety during their last days, Medicare bows out, essentially abandoning us and them.
Hospice, which is funded by Medicare, will provide only two to three visits a week by a caregiver to give a bath, and one visit a week by a nurse to check on the patient. That is all until the patient has just a day or two left. Unless a family has private resources to cover nursing or home health aide help, they are on their own. Completely. And generally completely unequipped.
In addition, few people will take adequate time to address how they wish to spend their last days and months. Without good preparation, decisions are left in the hands of frantic children or other relatives, and generally defaulted to a health care system unprepared to handle the needs to the dying.
Those who seek to challenge the current system and extricate their loved ones from such torture are often told that they “are trying to kill” someone.
Further, if we continue in our current path, the coming death tsunami of this giant baby-boomer generation is going to bankrupt the country. Their families will play the game of repeated hospitalizations in order to keep their financial heads above water. Everyone suffers.
This story of one woman's death and her family’s determination to give her “an ordinary death” opens the discussion: "How than shall we die?"

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Product Details

  • File Size: 322 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Family Manor, LLC (May 30, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D476J7E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,840 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic September 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A realistic look at dying in America in the 21st Century! The author's use of conversations - blog posts, e-mails, and memoirs - really draws you into the story so you feel like you've know this family for a long time. A "must read" for members of the "sandwich generation" who are faced with these issues everyday. As Americans we need to "slow down" and consider the consequences before initiating extreme medical procedures. Modern science can do so much, but we need to be informed of the results and alternatives before making our decisions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for All of Us July 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An Ordinary Death: Where Grief and Relief Hold Hands

A book for all of us, An Ordinary Death tells of a journey we will inevitably take both for those we love and for ourselves. After a series of strokes that began on August 13, 2010, Eileen H. Thomas died on September 18, 2010. A wife and a church member, a mother and a grandmother, this ordinary woman was accompanied on the last mile of her life's journey by an extraordinary daughter, the Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas. Pastor of the Krum, Texas, First United Methodist Church, Dr. Thomas has comforted the dying as well as their loved ones and has conducted many funerals. This time, she takes her own walk with death.

By exposing--through her blogs, emails, and personal journal entries--the rawness of her own heart, Dr. Thomas prepares us for the suffering we will face. She's honest about her anger at what seems like a money-making medical machine, cold hospice workers, and tangled Medicare rules. She shares her hope for her mother to come live with her and the shattering of that hope as her mother lapses into a comma, her confusion on how to make the final decisions, her grief for the death of her mother and for the death of her own sense of place in the world, her guilt for not having been a better daughter, and finally her gratitude for the gift of her mother's love. But in the end she learns that "Death comes. There are times to fight it with every piece of medical genius available. And there is a time to welcome it as a good friend, and start looking for the angels to take us to the next place."

For those now going on or who will go on this journey with a loved one, An Ordinary Death is a companion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read July 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an personal and detailed account of what a daughter struggled with when her Mother became ill and was no longer able to make decisions for herself. The author shared personal feelings about what she was going through as well as the hardships of suddenly becoming the decision maker. The complexities of insurance, medical treatments, coordinating family help, while also making sure she followed her Mother's wishes all come into play. You get to know the author and her mother through the different personal blogs, emails, and journals. It gave me insight to think about my own wishes on dying and to be sure to let those wishes be known to my loved ones. A very great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Poignant July 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thomas's emotions were evident in her writings. This would be a helpful book for anyone who was at end-of-life stage with their loved ones. Very much worth it.
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More About the Author

Christy Thomas is a pastor, blogger and writer living in the Denton, Texas area. Her newspaper columns for the Denton-Record Chronicle concerning religion and contemporary life are avidly followed and enthusiastically shared with friends and relatives.

Her blog, 'Thoughtful Pastor," found at, has attracted multiple followers as she explores ideas dealing with life, death, hope and tragedy all woven around questions of belief and unbelief. The church she served while writing this book, Krum First United Methodist Church, has, despite its small size and location in a very tiny town, been described as the most influential church in the larger metropolitan area.

This particular book came from her blogging during the weeks preceding and following the death of her mother, Eileen H. Thomas. As Christy blogged her way through hospitalizations, rehab, Hospice care, death and grief, people around the world contacted her and said, "You have written what I think and feel, but am afraid to put into words. Please make this into a book."

So, here it is. A book of an ordinary death that asks the universal question, "how shall we then die?"


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