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Paperback Intimate Death: How the Dying Teach Us How to Live Book

ISBN: 0679768599

ISBN13: 9780679768593

Intimate Death: How the Dying Teach Us How to Live

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

An extraordinary book and an immediate bestseller abroad, Intimate Death tells readers how to help those who are dying face the end squarely and with acceptance, bringing back both peace and dignity... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Unfinished Business

The subtitle "how the dying teach us how to live", had a unusually specific meaning for me. As I watched my emotional response and empathy to the conversations between Hennezel and terminally ill patients, I began to notice how many patients wanted to die earlier, not later, until, that is, their conversation with Hennezel. And, in each case, the patient was glad to have lived another few days or weeks because, during the conversations, they had resolved some outstanding issues about their lives. As Hennezel helped them awaken to the value of attending to unfinished business, I realized how much unfinished business I have myself. Or, put another way, I see the backlog of things-I've-hoped-to-do (since retirement) through the lens of "unfinished business." The conversations between Hennezel and her terminally ill patients are invariably moving because of the warmth that Hennezel and the nurses on the staff extend to their patients. On pages 47-50 Hennezel refers to the field of Haptonomie (found in the French (but not the English) Wikipedia) associated with Frans Veldman which is about the importance of affection and human touch for "affectivity." This is as widely appreciated around child birth as it is under appreciated at the time of death. Hennezel and her co-workers implement this affectivity in their palliative unit for the dying and I think the articulation of that practice is much of what makes this book so emotionally moving, at least for me. I can open the volume to any pages and within minutes I'm teary eyed. It's the depth of my emotional responses to the moving conversations that keeps me on my new track of attending to unfinished business. I dare not read the whole book in one setting -- perhaps 10 pages/week will keep me moving on what is genuinely a new path for me. I keep wanting to buy a crate of these books and hand them out on the street corner but, after the 1973 publication of Earnest Becker's The Denial of Death, I realized that issues surrounding death are not for everyone. I wrote everything above almost a year ago but since returning to the book time and again, I now realize something I had not fully appreciated, viz., just how many people in palliative units are begging for an injection to enable them to die. If most adults fully realized how they will likely feel about dying once they approach those final days (in a first rate palliative unit, to say nothing of a 3rd class nursing home), I suspect the laws against euthanasia would be off the books. I think that Becker's phrase, "denial of death," helps explain why euthanasia remains illegal in countries like the US. The inevitability of death gives meaning to life and Hennezel's excellent book facilitates greater presence to the death of others, to one's own mortality and, hence, the value of living.

Every Hospice Should Have Several Copies

My sister and I are caring for her husband at home. He has only a few more days to live. The hospice people are great, but they could not tell us what this book has told us about what to expect now at the end of his life. It has been tremendously helpful for both of us to read this book. I will be buying copies for many people and organizations in the coming years.

A compassionate understanding of death.

My sisters and I read this book while our mother prepared to die. It helped me begin to understand emotional patterns of illness and some of the mysteries of death. After reading Intimate Death, I had the strength to stay by my mother's side.

I highly recommend this book

My mom has advanced cancer and is terminal. I was looking for something to help everyone in my family deal with it all. I was worried that some of the books I came across would be too depressing to give to my mom, but while of course I was sad alot while reading Intimate Death, it was also very uplifting and helpful. I'm really glad I read it *before* my mom dies.

spiritual yet practical lesson about Death and Dying

A very powerful book .Spiritual, philosophical,yet very practical for the dying and the survivors.A great teacher about death and dying,de Hennezel leaves you with a powerful lesson about life
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