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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and informative guidebook through the end of life
Drs. Lynn and Harrold have created an extraordinary volume: it gives very specific useable advice about options at the end of your or your loved one's life, yet is filled with remarkable poetry, photos, and anecdotes to have an emotionally positive impact on readers struggling with these issues. It is not a book to buy only when the end is near; it is something people...
Published on February 28, 1999

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hoping for more
I guess I was hoping for more insight and information but this book was nothing new for me so I rated it 2 for that reason.
Published 6 months ago by Karen Tribou


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and informative guidebook through the end of life, February 28, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness (Hardcover)
Drs. Lynn and Harrold have created an extraordinary volume: it gives very specific useable advice about options at the end of your or your loved one's life, yet is filled with remarkable poetry, photos, and anecdotes to have an emotionally positive impact on readers struggling with these issues. It is not a book to buy only when the end is near; it is something people should look at because it so directly handles an issue we think about most of our lives. Alot of fiction and non-fiction proports to be uplifting when it comes to dying; most of it is simple-minded and useless. This volume just knocks the socks off other "death" books. If these doctors can articulate their views half as well in person, they should be on every talkshow on TV. Oprah might want to pick this as her first non-fiction book club selection.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handbook for Mortals, February 28, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness (Hardcover)
I found this book days after leaving the hospital with a two year prognosis for a misdiagnosed illness. My head was spinning. I was making lists of questions and to do lists for leaving my 2 young children. Finding this book was a wonderful gift. It answered my questions and provided a realistic outlook for what to expect of a terminal condition. The book provides sample statements for calling your relatives and helps you to prepare for your doctor appointments. I visited a doctor today and I led the session and all of my questions were addressed before the exam occurred. This book should be recommended to all diagnosed with a terminal illness. Highly recommended book!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful in a difficult time, April 17, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness (Hardcover)
I wish I had picked up this book earlier in my step-father's illness. Very useful for those who are facing illness or who love someone who is very ill, telling you the kinds of things to expect and ways of dealing them.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handbook for Mortals is a must., May 19, 2000
By 
Rebecca Brown "rebeccasreads" (Clallam Bay, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness (Hardcover)
Death comes to us all - whether it's sudden or gradual; whether it's our own or someone close - leaving this garment, quitting this life, passing on to the next Grand Adventure. In each chapter of this detailed, simply written, expressive & compassionate volume, are poignant poems, soothing photos & sidebars of lists to walk us through from Living With Serious Illness to Finding Meaning to Helping Family Make Decisions and Give Care; from getting the Help You Need to Talking With Your Doctor; from Controlling Pain to Planning Ahead; from Hastening Death to The Dying of Children to Enduring Loss & beyond. A huge crew of researching assistants from the Center to Improve Care of the Dying out of George Washington University, put this Handbook for Mortals together & the caring insights, profound realizations & ordinary instructions make for a really useful book you can pick up at any time & not worry about disturbing someone in the middle of the night or during their busy work day.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handbook For Mortals, September 19, 2007
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As the wife of a young man dying of cancer, this book was an incredible aid to getting through each day and learning what to expect. That was 15 years ago. My sister-in-law faced the same situation recently when her husband was diagnosed, and I bought the book for her. She said she couldn't put it down until she read every page. We need to have that helping hand when we're hurting. This book is it!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good guide for daily living with or without a serious illness, March 26, 2006
I have owned this book for several years and decided to use it as an adjunct teaching tool for those training to become hospice volunteers. Every person in the group gave a high rating to this book. I will continue to use this book in future volunteer training classes. Eileen Urquhart, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Visiting Nurse Association Hospice of Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for the dying, not just caregivers., September 11, 2009
By 
Miss Maudie (Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
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There are more comprehensive reviews of this book here. I just had to comment on what a treasure this book has been for me. So many of the books of this genre are for those caring for the dying; This addresses the person in the process.

I am have an incurable, untreatable progressive muscle disease. I've been looking for some guidance on living the time I have left well and dying gracefully.

I needed a guide to help me through the fears and questions about what death may be like. This book has practical information for the changes of the body, but also spoke to my spiritual concerns.

It has given me a guidepost for what lies ahead in this journey and for things I can do to make it more meaningful and make my physical self more comfortable.

If you or a loved one have a serious illness and need a guidebook on dying with grace and living with the same, buy this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Resource for Caregivers and those who love them..., May 13, 2007
This is a must have resource for all of us. It is a practical book that helps you with End of Life concerns and how to plan for them. Far too many people wait until a crisis to make desperate choices that could be avoided. It is difficult to live with the choices that we make in crisis. Many times a crisis situation does not give you the opportunity to discuss critical issues with your family before the crisis occurs. This book will give you the necessary tools to discuss your wants and wishes for the living of your years.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Handbook for Mortals- good reference for non-medical people., January 20, 2009
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This is a very practical and "user friendly" guide for non-medical people to try to navigate the often difficult and long journey when someone they love is dying- even includes a section on children, babies, and even when there is a suicide.The last chapter is just references- sites that people can go to for specific illnesses and other resources. Very direct and down to earth- addresses issues most would rather avoid- pain, incontinence, etc. A forward by Rosalynn Carter states, "We often put off in life what is important, and sometimes it takes the shadow of death to make us appreciate that love, family and faith are really things that matter." Excellent resource.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MANY PEOPLE'S SUGGESTIONS FOR GETTING READY FOR DEATH, September 15, 2010
Joanne Lynn, MD & Joan Harrold, MD

Handbook for Mortals:
Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness

(New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) 242 pages
(ISBN: 0-19-511662-3; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: R726.8.H353 1999)

The two authors had help from a large collection of others
who contributed and commented on this handbook while it was being prepared.
Thus it represents a very broad consensus of main-stream thinking
about all of the medical issues that each us will have to face
when we come to the end of our lives.

Some important themes:
Finding meaning as life comes to an end.
Family involvement in care and decisions.
Getting help from others when needed.
Talking with doctors.
Controlling pain.
Managing other symptoms.
Dying from the most common diseases.
Planning care in advance.
Forgoing medical treatment.
Shortening the process of dying.
Coping with the last few days.
Dying suddenly.
Grieving.

This book has been carefully crafted for laypeople to understand.
Each theme is discussed briefly and thoughtfully.
And, as the idea of a handbook implies, it can be read in any order.
Many readers will turn first to a problem they are confronting immediately.
It deserves to be revised and republished in every generation.
We are all mortal.

If you are interesting in seeing other similar books,
search the Internet for the following bibliography:
"Best Books on Preparing for Death".

James Leonard Park, existential philosopher.
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Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness
Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness by Janice Lynch Schuster (Hardcover - February 15, 1999)
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