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."