The Elephant in the Room?

In this unprecedented book, palliative medicine pioneer Dr Kathryn Mannix explores the biggest taboo in our society and the only certainty we all share: death.

Told through a series of beautifully crafted stories taken from nearly four decades of clinical practice, her book answers the most intimate questions about the process of dying with touching honesty and humanity. She makes a compelling case for the therapeutic power of approaching death not with trepidation but with openness, clarity and understanding.

With the End in Mind is a book for us all: the grieving and bereaved, ill and healthy. Open these pages and you will find stories about people who are like you, and like people you know and love. You will meet Holly, who danced her last day away; Eric, the retired head teacher who, even with Motor Neurone Disease, gets things done; loving, tender-hearted Nelly and Joe, each living a lonely lie to save their beloved from distress; and Sylvie, 19, dying of leukaemia, sewing a cushion for her mum to hug by the fire after she has died.

These are just four of the book’s thirty-odd stories of normal humans, dying normal human deaths. They show how the dying embrace living not because they are unusual or brave, but because that’s what humans do. By turns touching, tragic, at times funny and always wise, they offer us illumination, models for action, and hope. Read this book and you’ll be better prepared for life as well as death.

(n.b. the above review is by Goodreads – for further information go here. The book is also available in the UK from other on-line sources such as Amazon and stores such as Waterstones).

3 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Room?

  1. EM

    Something we really should talk more about, not just for ourselves but for those we leave behind.

  2. Denise Savage

    Will buy a copy. We don’t talk about death openly so it often comes as a profound shock to those facing death and those lleft behind. How much better perhaps to face death with a calm resignation rather than with fear.

    1. EM

      I wondered what thoughts there were about starting a discussion given that this topic will be horrifying to some? I haven’t yet read the book so can’t comment on its views, but the reviews look so good. It would be good to have a couple of copies circulated. It’s a pity that the Brighton & Hove Library Service doesn’t stock this book.

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