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New Book about Cancer Bereavement

User
Posted 15 Mar 2020 at 22:40

This is a sensitive topic but this book was given a good review in yesterday's Times.

The author hopes the book, which is structured as 20 conversations about death, provides a road map "through one of the most important and least discussed experiences of our lives".

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Extracts from the Times review:

'Brown has made being with cancer patients her life’s work. At the age of 26, she moved to Canada and spent ten years working as an oncology nurse before becoming a counsellor. In 1995 she founded a retreat centre that welcomes families affected by cancer, and hopes this book, which is structured as 20 conversations about death, provides a road map “through one of the most important and least discussed experiences of our lives”. 

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'Daniel knows he is dying, but his wife tells him to stop being so negative whenever he tries to talk about it. Brown says: “I can help you prepare for your death, without either of us giving up hope that surprising things can happen.” Daniel is relieved: “I just know that pretending I’m not going to die isn’t going to help anyone.”'

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'Many of the people Brown meets believe their cancer is a punishment for wrongdoing. Brown tries to help them to shift their thinking: “Remorse is a helpful human emotion in that it evokes compassion for loved ones we have hurt, and we can take responsibility. Guilt is unhelpful in that it is based in self-loathing, which separates us from the people we love.”'

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This is a glorious book that I would not hesitate to give to anyone facing an unwelcome diagnosis or prognosis of their own or of a loved one. It is kind and practical. I learnt so much and feel glad that it exists and convinced that many people will be helped by Brown’s generous sharing of more than 30 years’ experience of working with the dying. I will be keeping this book on the shelf next to With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix in the event that I need them, so that I can remind myself how I want be when I come to the end of my life: “This is the greatest gift we could give our loved ones: to be prepared and open and accepting when the time comes for us to leave this world.” '


Radical Acts of Love: How we find hope at the end of life by Janie Brown, Canongate, 282pp; £14.99

 

Link to the article behind a paywall:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2020-03-14/saturday-review/radical-acts-of-love-by-janie-brown-review-the-secrets-of-a-good-death-67vmn9m7z

User
Posted 15 Mar 2020 at 23:27

It is available on Amazon - hard cover £14.99, kindle edition £8

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Radical-Acts-Love-Find-Hope/dp/1786899027/ref=sr_1_1?crid=18GP0BL3A33FI&keywords=radical+acts+of+love&qid=1584314706&sprefix=radical+acts+of+love%2Caps%2C147&sr=8-1 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

 
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