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Showing 1-10 of 130 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 160 reviews
on May 25, 2015
Having lost a few friends recently, i was looking for something that would connect the dots for me, loss, grieving, dying, meaning. Once ordered, i couldnt stop reading, the personal stories of loss, bereavement, grief, and how death can be transformational not just for the dying but for the survivors, are powerful stories. After wards, i think the stories remind me of our humanity, how fragile life can be, only one step away from tragedy, how we must all succumb to nature, the science of keeping dying people alive, managing pain medication. I think at the end of it all, it is about dying well, looking back at my own life, to know or at least have some sense of knowing that i did live well, not to have regrets about not having done this or that, or missed this or that, that given the time that was allotted to one's own life, that i made the best of it, good and bad, challenging or successful, and not having wasted time, or let time fritter away what could have been opportunities. Also, the book reminds me of how important family, and good friends are, that when you are suffering and dying, trying to manage through the pain and suffering, the distance between being sick and death itself, that there is somebody who is willing to help, willing to step and look after you, instead of dying alone, there is someone you can talk to, chat about, share the last moments of beauty with, the simple things of existence, I think dying alone and unloved must be the most terrible death, knowing that everything you have materially dont amount to a hill of beans, when there is nobody who will miss you, miss your prescence, mourn your absence. When you are gone, you no longer exist, except only in the minds of the people, who wanna remember you, who mourn you, who miss you, you can only live on in their memories.
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on March 26, 2017
Excellent book about end of life decisions, care, conversations and how to love and connect. I read this for a medical social work class but it is a really interesting read if you are old, dying, or know someone who is. Written by a physician who has a real heart for his patients.
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on August 3, 2017
I'm the kind of person whose eyes start to glaze over if I try to absorb more than a few pages of social science/self help type writing. I was steered to this book when I was helping my mother as she died. I had so little experience with death that I worried about doing the wrong thing. As I read the stories I was drawn in, absorbing each small "message" with each story. One, about a man whose final gift to his family was to allow them to help him as he died, touched me so deeply I read it to my mother in her last days. I wish I'd read this book earlier but I don't think it could ever be too late.
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on June 27, 2015
I believe Dr. Byock, MD defines death, and some of the things you go through very explicid. Which I believe is a good thing, because most medical Dr's don't want to even go that route. They don't want to "loose the battle ", when in all actual reality You're the one loosing the battle, if that's what you want to call it. He finally sees people and patients for who and what they are. I've read many of the other books mentioned in the book, so I was able to understand early on, where he was coming from. I believe A Must Read....and then for him to write down Questions and answers, and places to go for treatment is a big plus. Thank You Dr. Byock for your wealth of Information! Debbie Feighner/Fort Wayne, IN
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on January 28, 2014
This is written by a hospice doctor, giving us the benefit of his years of experience with the dying. The outstanding part of this book is his case study of individual patients and their families during the saga of death. Many a chapter brought tears to my eyes. And it also reads like a mystery story in that you turn the next page to see what is going to happen next. At the end of the book is an invaluable FAQ section (that was worth the price by itself).

I bought the book so as to know how to better relate with relatives that have the big C. I was looking for some understanding of what they might be feeling and how to talk to them, things that I might do to ease their mental anguish rather than add to it by inept, uncaring action. This book delivers in all respects and is one you may re-read from time to time for its striking insights.

All of us are in the process of dying, some of us are just closer than others - keep that in mind and buy this book.
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on June 11, 2014
I am currently enrolled in a course on Death, Dying and Bereavement as part of my Bachelor's of Nursing curriculum. This book was required reading for the course, and I am forever grateful. Although I've had some limited exposure to hospice nursing, I was wholly
unprepared for the sweeping scope and loving presentation offered by Dr. Byock. He is the "man who knows" when it comes to hospice, and has seen a great deal. His gift as a wordsmith, and ability to place these very tender and often painful moments within reach of anyone's understanding, was pure joy to me. Reading "Dying Well" brought me, with ease, to the beginning of what I know will be a very long road of advocacy for those making very difficult end of life decisions.
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on November 19, 2012
Beginning with his father, Byock tells stories of the deaths of a number of people, most of whom he met through hospice care in Montana. I found these stories enriching. Byock discovered that living well tends to prepare one for dying well, although some people, once faced with their mortality, surprise those about them with the capacity to die well. Byock emphasizes allowing those who love the dying person to be their practical caretakers when they want to and when possible - keeping them warm, dry, clean, helping with food and elimination. Mostly just being with them, bearing witness to their pain and sorrow, listening to the stories of their life, and remembering the story of their passing. He has observed that this arrangement can ease the grieving process for those left and the dying process for those dying.
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on January 14, 2014
I have terminal cancer. I wanted to find information that would help me as well as my family through the coming months and I found a lot of it in this book. I cried all the way through it but they were the good kind of tears. I feel much more equipped for the time when I need hospice services because I know more about what to look for and what it is realistic ask for. It is so comforting to know that I will be able to get through this without intense pain. My husband will read it next and I'm sure it will help him too to know that it is okay to ask for things that he thinks either of us need. I highly recommend this book for terminal patients and their families.
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on October 5, 2014
This book has changed my perspective in my profession as well in my personal life. My encounter with dying and death has become more frequent as the years have gone by, and this book has helped me to approach that subject (within my own mind and with others) with more clarity. Just as we all hesitate to consider things such as estate planning and advanced directives, I have not wanted to consider this subject of dying until I've come in contact with it indirectly. With the reading of this book, I now will approach the discussion of death and dying more proactively, as part of my learning to care for another in my professional and personal life.
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on February 14, 2016
Very helpful and insightful about dying. It was helpful for my friend who was dealing with feeding tubes used on her crippled elderly mother. The feeding tube lasted five weeks until mucus and phlegm built up around tubing at nursing home and hospital. Mother was choking at times. Her lips were badly chapped and they replaced feeding tube and sadly she died three weeks after that, just feeding her meds and no food in the line the last two weeks. Heart was strong but suffering from stroke two months due to difficulty swallowing. Siblings could not agree unanimously not to insert feeding tube.
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