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Intimate Death: How the Dying Teach Us How to Live
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Intimate Death: How the Dying Teach Us How to Live

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  183 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
How do we learn to die? Most of us spend our lives avoiding that question, but this luminous book--a major best-seller in France--answers it with a directness and eloquence that are nothing less than transforming. As a psychologist in a hospital for the terminally ill in Paris, Marie de Hennezel has spent seven years tending to people who are relinquishing their hold on li ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 28th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1995)
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Heather Smith
Oct 21, 2014 Heather Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
This book was truly inspiring. It made me look at death in a way I never really had before. Sure, I was aware of the acceptance and peace people can leave life in, but this gave me a better understanding. The way Marie treats the people in her care, with such limitless patience and love, is a thing of beauty. She listens to each of them as if they are her family, her friends. She doesn't keep that sterile distance many doctors and nurses have to do to preserve their sanity. Marie isn't afraid fo ...more
Sasha Lynn
Aug 10, 2014 Sasha Lynn rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. It was written in an almost simplistic way, detailing her work in a palliative care hospital and it was nice. I felt almost as if I was having a conversation with her. I loved how even though death was the main focus it was also about life, love, kindness, and learning to be one with yourself. This book inspired me to try to be a little nicer to everyone and to open up in different little ways.
Jun 27, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own

This book is so inspiring and touching, It taught me how to just be there. How someone's presence can be all what you need sometimes without needing any words or physical connection. Reading this was a spiritual experience to me rather than just a book , it also led me to understand so many things and see things in another way. It's important to recognize how you should be present.
Dec 19, 2012 Kiwiflora rated it really liked it
I work closely with terminally ill patients, helping them compile biographies of their lives to leave their families. And yet this process is as much about the patient as it is about the legacy being left. Is there anything more cathartic and indulgent than telling a complete stranger stories about your life, and then seeing it in writing and adorned with photos? For the patient it gives dignity and honour at a difficult time. For me, and I imagine other biographers, it is perhaps one of the mos ...more
Leggere A Colori
Una testimonianza, un tratto della sua biografia, della sua vita professionale all’interno dell’Hospice, scritta con enorme energia e passionalità. C’è l’introduzione di monsieur Mitterrand, anche la testimonianza di una sua visita informale ed esperienza in codesta struttura, tanti casi end-life, lezioni di vita da chi sta per morire…

Continua a leggere su
Jun 13, 2013 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listening at Mass tonight I could better understand about paying to the last penny all the knots in our personal reletionships...and our need to reconcile with our brothers before we make an offering. Where there are old divisions in our conscience we have to make every effort to make peace.

Marie de Hennezel shares her personal experience of listening and tender affection with several people in their last days. We get many useful clues about listening, affection and collected presence. How beaut
Dec 03, 2015 Sambasivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple but powerful writing. Tugs at your heart. The kind of work the author does for the palliative care of dying patients where no solution is available from medical science, is admirable, to say the least. The foreword by the French Prime Minister clearly shows the impact her work has had on the people of Paris.

Must read.
May 04, 2008 Kris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hopsice workers, medical workers, those who want to live their lives more fully
This is one of the most incredible books about death and dying that I've ever read. Marie De Hennezel invites us into her work as a psychologist in a palliative care unit in France. She provides stunning portraits of her "patients" who in their deaths have taught her how to live. This confirmed so much of my intuitions about my own work as a vigil volunteer for our local hospice--things I've suspected as I've journey with others during their last hours but couldn't articulate or couldn't confirm ...more
John Kaufmann
Oct 05, 2015 John Kaufmann rated it liked it
Little vignettes and snippets of the author's experiences as a hospice caregiver. Personal. Compassionate. Intimate, as the title suggests.
Jennifer Fredin
How the dying teach us to live. Author is Marie de Hennezel, a French physhologist working in a Palliative Care Setting. So so.
Dec 13, 2015 Dadzi rated it really liked it
The importance of listening to the dieing, who can give us the most valuable lessons about how to be alive.
Linda Robinson
Sep 21, 2010 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book, written with a good heart and finely expressive language. Quite intimate, but there is no sense of invading anyone's privacy; the subject and people are clearly cared for, about, and well. The last time this book was checked out was in 2006, and only a few times before that, with a publication date of the 90s, it's clear that death is not what Americans want to read about. This book should be in everyone's collection for the time when it will be most needed, and everyone will reach ...more
Phil Lawless
This is a very touching account of hospice encounter in France after the peak of the AIDS epidemic. It is similar to those of American nurses, but from the view of a psychologist. Quite touching, perhaps because of the French/psych viewpoint.
Dec 28, 2014 Béatrice rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychologie
Toujours excellent, plein de sensibilité
Sean Goh
Mar 03, 2013 Sean Goh rated it it was amazing
Every now and then I read a book that makes me pause now and then, simply because of emotion welling up. This is one of those books. Renamed "Seize the Day" (but with the same subtext), Marie DeHennezel deftly overturns the notion that a pallative care unit is filled with gloom and despair, instead showing the ignorant how everything changes once one comes to terms with mortality, the earlier, the better.

A must-read, especially for doctors, who deal with death and the dying all the time.
Oct 30, 2010 Jill rated it it was amazing
In the past several years because of deaths close to me, I have noticed that we do not do death well in the US. It does not seem to be discussed and few people are comfortable speaking with people who have had someone close die. This book changes all of that. In addition to a passionate, caring description of the process of dying, it also promotes the idea that there is something beyond, which I find comforting. Though it sounds like a sad book, it is just the opposite.
Mar 18, 2007 Lael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: death-life
My father had hospice care before he died in 1996. Reading this book later helped me put to rest some of the questions I had about what he might have been experiencing, whether my family and I had done everything “right” to help him, etc. A very thoughtful book that addresses a subject American culture is mostly loath to discuss.
Mar 11, 2014 Lena rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reading
Re-read and deeply moved - again!
To write about dying and death with such clarity and lightness!
I'm not no longer afraid of meeting death in a friend or my own...
Jul 19, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Written during the beginning of the AIDS crisis AND the beginning of palliative care in France. Stories and thoughts are just as applicable today. It was interesting to read her latest book, "The Art of Growing Old" first, and see how the author's life view has developed since she wrote "Intimate Death".
Danielle Angueira
Jul 29, 2008 Danielle Angueira rated it really liked it
It really shows you how to care for people who are dying and to not be afraid to try and develop a relationship with them. Wonderful for anyone who knows someone that might be close to the end of their life; and so this is a wonderful book for everyone.
Amanda Jaczkowski
Dec 23, 2013 Amanda Jaczkowski rated it it was ok
An egotistical perspective on how to be humble. Interesting read with some good ideas, but not written in an enticing manner. Very choppy and hard to follow the thought pattern.
Apr 04, 2009 Sue rated it it was amazing
This book lives up to its title -- it truly is an "intimate" account of Dr. de Hennezel's work with patients at a hospice in France. I learned much about how to create a more intimate relationship with my hospice patients.
Feb 23, 2010 Liz rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone to read. It is about death and dying and the lessons we learn from being close to those who are dying. Beautifully written.
Maria Casey
This book claims to tell you how the dying teach you to live. What it thought me was that I should be terrified of death, because it's painful and horrible.
Jamie Archer
Dec 06, 2012 Jamie Archer rated it it was amazing
A really well-written, beautiful, honest look at death, giving the perspective that we should all have on the subject...
Arun G
Dec 22, 2013 Arun G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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أنور  الغامدي
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Marie Gaultier de la Ferrière dite Marie de Hennezel, est née le 5 août 1946 à Lyon, est une psychologue, psychothérapeute et auteur française. []

Marie de Hennezel may not be a household name in America, but in France she's a trailblazer. The therapist who helped the late French President Jacques Mitterand through the final stages of his cancer, she's been l
More about Marie de Hennezel...

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