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With The End In Mind: How To Live & Die Well

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Death is the last thing most people want to think about and it can be very difficult to open up conversations about dying or death. Never realized that ever before. I have recently come across this book: How to live and die well and absolutely fell in love with it. Not into reading much but this one for sure caught my attention because it’s definitely a taboo-breaking book.  Also, I prefer reading books that are based on real experiences or that are more realistic.  And With the end in mind is one of those books. This book is based on personal experience of the author. Mannix had worked for 40 years in cancer management. She talks about her lifetime company with the dying.

With the End in Mind” is a book for everyone. The grieving and bereaved, ill and healthy. Throughout the book, you will find different interesting stories about people who are like me, you and like people you know and love. You will meet people like Holly, who danced her last day away. Eric, the retired head teacher who, even with Motor Neurone Disease, gets things done. The most Loving, tender-hearted Nelly and Joe, each living a lonely lie to save their beloved from distress and Sylvie, who is just 19, dying of leukemia, 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 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. Not at times but usually.

I lost the count over how many times my eyes were all teary while reading this book. It was the most empowering, holistic and inspiring book I have ever read. I will tell you why? In this unprecedented book, palliative pioneer Dr. Kathryn Mannix (the author) explores the answers about 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. Moreover, rich wisdom is revealed that can be found in familiarity with the process of dying and in celebrating the experiences of those at the end of their lives with all honesty and happiness. With the end in mind will tell you how the ones suffering and their loved ones live with the reality of death. It is a  journey of shrinking horizons and final moments, but one in which she sees people transformed amazingly. People living at the moment, looking back with gratitude and no regrets and experiencing times of reconciliation and common humanity with family and friends. This is a book of humbling compassion and rare insight into mortality. If you want to be better prepared for life as well as death, you need to give it a read. 

I will be very honest I can not describe it in words. If you are looking for a good read, this is the one. And as the Sunday Times said,

There aren’t many books that change the way you see the world. This book really might.

A must read! Rate: 4.8/5 

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