The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book about Living

Ira Byock, Author Free Press $24 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7432-4909-6
Byock, a physician specializing in end-of-life care, argues that four crucial phrases--""I forgive you"";""Please forgive me"";""Thank you""; and""I love you""--are the key to improving important relationships. Gathering poignant and uplifting examples from his palliative care work at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Byock shows how""these four short sentences carry the core wisdom of what people who are dying have taught me about what matters most in life."" (As the publicity sheet would have it, this is like""Every Day with Morrie."") Healing is always possible, Byock says, even after years of distance or rejection; he tells, for example, of a cold father who re-engaged with his family months before his death in a freak accident, and of a man dying of colon cancer whose gratitude for a good life made his passing less painful. This is important, inspirational stuff, but while Byock allows plenty of page-time for patients and their loved ones to explain the joy of reconnecting, little room is left for them to describe how they got to a place from which they could reach out. A caring counselor, or Byock himself, usually acts as the catalyst for healing in the cases described; it seems this book is designed to play the same role for readers, but there's no saying that things will go as smoothly as they seem to on the pages. Byock's enumerations on his ideas sometimes overlook the complexity of most lives:""Live each day as fully as possible"" might be a tall order for someone railing against a debilitating or terminal disease. Still, few readers will be left unmoved as they ponder their own and loved ones' mortality through Byock's fervent call to reconciliation.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Show other formats
FORMATS
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-7432-5860-9
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.