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Advice for the Dying (and Those Who Love Them)

Award-winning writer and nurse Sallie Tisdale offers a lyrical, thought-provoking yet practical perspective on death and dying in this frank, direct and compassionate meditation on the inevitable.
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From the sublime (the faint sound of Mozart as you take your last breath) to the ridiculous (lessons on how to close the sagging jaw of a corpse), Tisdale leads the reader through the peaks and troughs of death with a calm, wise and humorous hand.

More than a how-to manual or a spiritual bible, this is a graceful compilation of honest and intimate anecdotes based on the deaths Tisdale has witnessed in her work and life, as well as stories from cultures, traditions and literature around the world.

Tisdale explores all the heartbreaking, beautiful, terrifying, confusing, absurd and even joyful experiences that accompany the work of dying, including:

A good death: What does it mean to die ‘a good death’? Can there be more than one kind? What can I do to make my death, or the deaths of my loved ones, good?

Communication: What to say and not to say, what to ask and when, from the dying, loved ones, doctors and more.

Last months, weeks, days and hours: What you might expect, physically and emotionally, including the limitations, freedoms, pains and joys of this unique time.

Bodies: What happens to a body after death? What options are available to me after my death, and how do I choose – and make sure my wishes are followed?

Grief: ‘Grief is a story that must be told, over and over. . . Grief is the breath after the last one.’

Beautifully written and compulsively readable, Advice for the Dying offers the resources and reassurance that we all need for planning the ends of our lives. It is essential reading for all of us.

The Inevitable

BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE SPECTATOR AND THE TIMES

‘Fascinating…. Deeply disturbing… Brilliant’ Sunday Times
‘Powerful and moving.’ Louis Theroux

Meet Adam. He’s twenty-seven years old, articulate and attractive. He also wants to die. Should he be helped? And by whom?

In The Inevitable, award-winning journalist Katie Engelhart explores one of our most abiding taboos: assisted dying. From Avril, the 80-year-old British woman illegally importing pentobarbital, to the Australian doctor dispensing suicide manuals online, Engelhart travels the world to hear the stories of those on the quest for a ‘good death’.

At once intensely troubling and profoundly moving, The Inevitable interrogates our most uncomfortable moral questions. Should a young woman facing imminent paralysis be allowed to end her life with a doctor’s help? Should we be free to die painlessly before dementia takes our mind? Or to choose death over old age? A deeply reported portrait of everyday people struggling to make impossible decisions, The Inevitable sheds crucial light on what it means to flourish, live and die.