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With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial


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With The End In Mind
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With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial


Kathryn Mannix


ISBN 9780008245597


What colour is cancer? Why do some people appear to have made miraculous recoveries? How can you tell when someone is in the final hours of their life? How can we ensure our most vulnerable are treated with the dignity they deserve?

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 all of us: the grieving and bereaved, ill and healthy. Open these pages and you will find stories about people who could have been your friend, your sister, your dad, your son. 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 it, and you’ll be better prepared for life as well as death.

The Author

kathryn mannix Kathryn Mannix has spent her medical career working with people who have incurable, advanced illnesses. Starting in cancer care and changing career to become a pioneer of the new discipline of palliative medicine, she has worked in teams in hospices, hospitals and in patients’ own homes to deliver palliative care, optimising quality of life even as death is approaching. Having qualified as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist in 1993, she started the UK’s (possibly the world’s) first CBT clinic exclusively for palliative care patients, and devised ‘CBT First Aid’ training to enable palliative care colleagues to add new skills to their repertoire for helping patients.

 


 

 

 

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Reviews, News & Interviews:

With the End in Mind deserves to rank with Being Mortal and When Breath Becomes Air. But it's also unique in showing us the numerous paths a death can take: how it evolves, what a deathbed is actually like, what matters most to the dying, and the bereaved. The stories - by turns touching, tragic, and even funny - show that death delivers far less sting given the right planning, information and a dose of honesty. Read it, and you'll be better prepared for life, as well as death. Bookseller Magazine, December Book of the Month

Illuminating and beautiful… Mannix is good company, with a sound eye for an interesting anecdote and a sure ear for language. It’s not a gloomy book. I shed a few tears but it’s not gut wrenching and Mannix weaves the light and dark strands of her experience with finesse. It’s essential reading for anyone who will encounter death, and that means all of us. Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Times