Andrew Marshall's Reviews > With the End in Mind: How to Live and Die Well

With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix
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it was amazing

There are stages to dying. If we understand them, it is easier to accept them and the likelihood of the ill person and their family making the most of the time left together increases greatly. This is the central idea of his compassionate book from a doctor who has spent a lifetime working in palliative care (and has been trained in CBT). It takes Mannix from a new doctor, how she learns from her colleagues and patients and now trains the next generation of doctors.

It is an emotional read. I was in tears on many occasions but ultimately it is uplifting.Death is not something to hide away and not talk about, there are important conversations to be had. What you understand, you fear less. So this is ultimately quite life affirming.

Personally, I took the book very slowly - because there is only so much that I could digest at a time. It is not the writing - which is easy, conversational and full of stories to pull the reader in - but the subject material. There is a lot to reflect on.

I hope that the book is widely read - particularly among the medical profession. I would certainly have liked someone around who had explained the dying process when my partner died. I wonder if I would have been quite so traumatized.

I urge everybody to read it. Facing up to what is going on - not just about death - is never as bad as trying to avoid it.
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Reading Progress

June 13, 2019 – Started Reading
June 16, 2019 – Shelved
June 16, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
August 16, 2019 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Mannix Thank you very much for this heart-felt and personal review. I'm so glad you 'enjoyed' the book (still looking for the right word here) and that it felt uplifting despite the subject.
I'm sorry to hear that you didn't have explanations and information to help you to process events and expectations as your partner was dying. My hope is that, by raising public awareness, we can demand better conversations. Public expectations can be a game-changer. This is my contribution.


Andrew Marshall In some ways the medical profession came up trumps. I am still friends with one of the nurses who cared for my partner and over twenty years later she was a guest at my 60th birthday party! In contrast, the doctor concerned could not look at me the day after my partner died (when I came back to the hospital in to collect his belongings).

If you are interested I have published my diary about loss and bereavement and recovery. It is called 'My Mourning Year' - more details here on goodreads

As a therapist, I am also committed to better conversations. Thank you for your contribution.


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