What Does It Feel Like to Die: Inspiring New Insights into the Experience of Dying

Jennie Dear. Kensington, $16.95 trade paper (244p) ISBN 978-0-8065-3986-7
Hospice volunteer Dear (The Responsible Journalist) pieces together the experience of dying in this affecting work. After nearly seven years of treatment for metastatic breast cancer, Dear’s mother was asked by a nurse, “Would you like to know what will happen as your body starts shutting down?” The question comforted her mother, and Dear as well, because it allowed her to understand and accept the reality of her coming death. Dear leads readers through the “existential slap” of a fatal diagnosis, the subsequent physical discomfort and mental struggle of dying, and the inexplicable “black box” of the last minutes of life. With first-person accounts from the dying and their caretakers, doctors, therapists, and researchers, she provides answers to hard-to-ask questions about how to decide where to die, what it feels like to die, how to manage pain and medication, how to accept “life’s finality,” and how to leave a legacy. What sets this apart from the many other well-sourced books on the end of life is Dear’s generosity and forthrightness. Readers curious about or ready to accept death will find solace and inspiration in this excellent investigation. (July)
Reviewed on : 06/07/2019
Release date: 06/25/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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