I wrote a review for The Christian Century of two companion books on dying by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, a professor of medical humanities at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. Her two books are both beautiful and uncomfortably practical guides to facing an approaching death – your own, or that of someone you love.
Here’s an excerpt from my review:
As family and clergy we may be tempted to assume we know the needs of those who are dying, but more often than not we can’t anticipate what they are feeling or what is most important to them in their final days. We are still learning how to talk about dying well in North America. As Marilyn Chandler McEntyre puts it, “Wanting ‘what is best,’ we are sometimes at a loss about how to discern what ‘best’ might be.” We don’t know what additional treatment to pursue, which guests to allow to come visit, or what to talk about during visits.
To buy the books from Amazon:
A Faithful Farewell: Living Your Last Chapter with Love
A Long Letting Go: Meditations on Losing Someone You Love