Talking About Death Won’t Kill You

Talking About Death Won't Kill You: The Essential Guide to End-of-Life Conversations by Kathy Kortes-Miller
Published by ECW Press on March 6th 2018
Genres: non-fiction
Pages: 280
Goodreads

This practical handbook will equip readers with the tools to have meaningful conversations about death and dying

Death is a part of life. We used to understand this, and in the past, loved ones generally died at home with family around them. But in just a few generations, death has become a medical event, and we have lost the ability to make this last part of life more personal and meaningful. Today people want to regain control over health-care decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

Talking About Death Won’t Kill You is the essential handbook to help Canadians navigate personal and medical decisions for the best quality of life for the end of our lives. Noted palliative-care educator and researcher Kathy Kortes-Miller shows readers how to identify and reframe limiting beliefs about dying with humor and compassion.

With robust resource lists, Kortes-Miller addresses• advance care plans for ourselves and our loved ones• how to have conversations about end-of-life wishes with loved ones• how to talk to children about death• how to build a compassionate workplace• practical strategies to support our colleagues• how to talk to health-care practitioners• how to manage challenging family dynamics as someone is dying• what is involved in medical assistance in dying (MAID)

Far from morbid, these conversations are full of meaning and life — and the relief that comes from knowing what your loved ones want, and what you want for yourself.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Pinky swear!

I was excited to read Talking About Death Won’t Kill You because I’m one of those weird people who is fascinated by death, the psychology of people around death, and I do think that death is one of those things that is just brushed under the table in Western society. Not a lot of people talk about death and even less people know how to discuss it when it’s creeping up on someone’s doorstep.

When I had the chance to review this book, I thought it would be great. I’d be able to read about death from the perspective of someone who teaches people how to handle death and the process leading up to it. How cool is that! Unfortunately, I felt that while the ideas were there, the execution wasn’t the best.

I found a lot of the information in the book repetitive. In the first couple of pages the author explains that she teaches this undergrad course and then a couple of pages later, explains the exact same thing. Small things like that happened throughout and made it a little hard for me to stay engaged, as I’d find myself starting to skim.

If you can get past that, though, the book is pretty interesting. It touches on all the important aspects of talking about death – talking about it at work, telling your children. I was super interested to read chapter 9 – Posting, Tweeting, & Texting – Dying in a Digital World. Living in a digital world has drastically changed how you find out about death, how you talk about it, and even how people who have died are remembered. This chapter especially was full of useful tips on how to manage this new world. It made me more aware of what I’m sharing and how I’d be remembered if I passed suddenly (I say this as I knock on some wood).

All in all, Talking About Death Won’t Kill You was a neat little book. Was it my favourite? No. But I did learn some things about how to handle the process of dying that I didn’t know before and it’s made me think about death in a different manner.

One StarOne StarOne Star

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