Jane Brody's Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally, and Emotionally for the End of Life
From the beloved New York Times columnist, trusted authority on health, and bestselling author comes this complete guide to everything you need to know–emotionally, spiritually, and practically–to prepare for the end of life.
An invaluable road map to putting your affairs in order–or helping your loved ones do the same–this comprehensive book will answer every question you might have about what does and does not help smooth the transition between life and the Great Beyond. Wise, practical, and characteristically straightforward throughout, Brody advises on
• the intricacies of a well-thought-out (and fully spelled-out) living will that health care practitioners readily understand–and how to designate a health care proxy. • planning a funeral or memorial to ensure your wishes are followed, including tips on how to reduce expenses. • discussing prognoses and treatment options with doctors. • your options for controlling pain, shortness of breath, bed sores, and other physical symptoms–plus the facts on feeding tubes. • receiving the support you need through hospice care–and suggestions for loved ones and friends who want to help. • lightening and enlightening your trials by incorporating spirituality into your life. • understanding what happens, physically and mentally, when death is imminent, and recognizing when hand-holding and reassurance, not food or drink or an oxygen mask or CPR, is the proper course of action. • easing your way through the journey of grief by admitting the reality of the loss, showing your emotions, and allowing yourself the time you feel you need.
No matter your age or current health, preparing for the inevitable when you are still fully in control of your faculties ensures that you’ll be in a far better position to enjoy the time you have left. As Brody notes, “From the start, consider the finish.”
A clear-eyed look at death and dying
By Julie Neal - February 24, 2009
Jane Brody has written many sensible books on improving the quality of life. Now she has added to that list with a book about improving the quality of death.
The subhead says it all: A practical primer to help you and your loved ones prepare medically, legally, and emotionally for the end of life. This book is full of invaluable advice that anyone can use, whatever their age. Death is the end of the story for everybody, so it makes excellent sense to learn about it and make decisions. The better your plan, the better likelihood the end of life will be the one you'd pick.
The tone of the Guide to the Great Beyond is compassionate and upbeat. Although there is plenty of science and hard-nosed legal advice, there are also cartoons and personal vignettes. I liked one cartoon in particular. A doctor stands in front of a patient and says "Before I go over your test results, can we agree no one lives forever?"
Included is a six-page prototype of a living will... read more
Starred review from Publishers Weekly
By Erik Engquist - February 28, 2009
Here's the starred review from Publishers Weekly (January 2009):
In her inimitably straightforward, informative and intelligent manner, New York Times health columnist Brody (Jane Brody's Good Food Book) gives pragmatic direction to a concerned yet reluctant readership in this essential travel guide for the journey toward the inevitable. In pointing out that there is a difference between sensibly learning to accept death and surrendering, she reminds us that our attitude about living colors our approach to death. Thoroughly outlining all attendant demands and details for facing one's end, Brody provides facts and support for families and patients, and makes it appear entirely possible to "go with grace." With bulleted lists itemizing what needs to be done and how to do it, short portraits and anecdotes throughout, Brody covers the importance of preparation; the necessity of an advance directive and why a living will is not enough; funeral plans; living with a bad prognosis... read more
A good death | Guide to the Great Beyond
By Jeanne M. Hannah - April 5, 2009
I have just finished reading this extraordinary book, a book so remarkable that I am making a list of all of the people with whom I will share it.
Most people my age have experienced many losses in their life. For me, those losses have included my grandparents, parents, and my dear sister Kay who died of cancer at the age of 47. Many of the vignettes and insights shared by Jane Brody resonated with me. Brody shared her personal experience of her mother dying in 1958 of complications of ovarian cancer only weeks before Brody graduated from high school. What she described was not much different from the experience of my nephew Kris and my niece Trisha. More than ten years after Kay's death, Kris said to me, "Aunt Jeannie, I don't understand why you knew that Mom was dying and no one even told us." It wasn't that Kris and Trisha weren't right there. It's that no one, not even Kay, could or would admit that she was dying. Had she told me? No. I only knew because I was in daily... read more
This enlightening volume provides first-hand perspectives and ethnographic research on communication at the end of life, a topic that has gone largely understudied in communication literature. Author ...
When a couple gets pregnant, typically, the first thing the mother-to-be does is rush out to the bookstore to buy the various pregnancy bibles. But how is the expectant father supposed to know what ...
Offers a comprehensive overview of the developments that have impacted decision-making processes within the field of end-of-life care. This title examines various aspects of end-of-life choices and ...