Recommended Reading: A Beginner’s Guide to the End
One of the great truths of life is that no one lives forever. Yet no one wants to talk about it. A Beginner’s Guide to the End by BJ Miller, MD and Shoshana Berger pushes past the stigmas and misconceptions to offer practical advice on how to prepare for death before the reader ever receives a diagnosis for themselves or a loved one.
This is no somber journey full of medical terms and legalese. Instead, co-authors Miller and Berger calmly lay out everything you need to know with loving kindness, encouragement, and cute illustrations of key points. They provide straightforward advice on navigating the physical, emotional, legal, and practical decisions of dying – from how to handle a diagnosis to navigating legal and medical paperwork to the physical symptoms of dying. Along the way, they offer tips on how to tell family, how to deal with hospitals and insurance, and how to plan a memorial service.
We never know exactly how much time we’ll have on this earth. Even if you’re not sick, A Beginner’s Guide to the End has tips on what can be done now to help families get through a sudden loss.
BJ Miller, MD is a hospice and palliative care physician who is probably best known for his TED Talk, “What Really Matters at End of Life.” Shoshana Berger met him soon after losing her father to dementia. A Beginner’s Guide to the End is the book Berger wished she had through that time of diagnosis, caregiving, and funeral planning. The book balances Miller’s healthcare expertise with everything she learned as a family caregiver.
Ira Byock, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Director of the Institute for Human Caring says of the book, “When it comes to the final journey, we are all beginners. Navigating the complexities of serious illness requires grace and grit. With elegant simplicity and tender, earthy honesty, this beginner’s guide explains how to prepare, what possible routes you might take, mis-turns to avoid, and the beauty you might see along the way.”
A Beginner’s Guide to the End is comprehensive and doesn’t shy away from tough topics like sex at end of life, when you need extra help, and how to explain serious illness and death to a child. Whether you want to make death easier for your family or you’re supporting someone with a serious illness, A Beginner’s Guide to the End attempts to be the how-go guide that answers all your questions and helps you set realistic goals to live life to the fullest for as long as possible.
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care provides care to patients facing serious, life-limiting illnesses. Please call 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about our services. A Beginner’s Guide to the End is available to order wherever books are sold.
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