Ruby's Reviews > A Hospital Bed at Home

A Hospital Bed at Home by Janene Carey
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it was amazing

I can't remember a book that has had such a strong emotional impact on me. Maybe it is knowing the author, or having a sick dad myself, but I was floored by this book. I finished it a few days ago, but it has taken me that long to figure out what I want to write about it. Carey has written about a subject that needs to be talked about. Caring for loved ones to their deaths is a task just about all of us will face one day, but nobody talks about it. It's not easy to know what to say, really.

The book begins with several different accounts of caring for dying relatives. Carey has found a really eclectic group of people to explore the a range of experiences of nursing loved ones to death. While in some ways, there are universal threads running through their stories, Carey also highlights the incredible diversity of experiences and emotions people have when they support a loved one to die at home. Her sensitive re-telling of their sacred stories also highlights the enormous impact death has on family dynamics in the lead-up to death and beyond. She explores the impact of impending death on a mother with young children. I was particularly moved by an account of death by a Buddhist family, who saw the whole process as a spiritual practice that was enriching as well as harrowing.

Carey writes about the extreme stress, love and emotional upheaval caring for her mother until death, and the result is raw and confronting. She does a great job of describing the extremes of exhaustion and the mess of emotions when her mother was dying. She also explores the impact it had on her whole family, the guilty juggle of caring for children and attending to the rest of the family while supporting her mother. The ongoing impact on family dynamics is probably not something people tend to think about until it actually occurs.

This is a subject that needs to be written about, but it takes a writer of great courage and skill to tackle it. Carey is blessed with both courage and skill as a writer and she has written an amazing book. I will be recommending it to anyone facing a death in the family, as a source of solidarity, understanding and support. A very special and valuable resource for those of us who are facing this difficult universal milestone. Books like these are not only valuable, they are well overdue. In a world that can be saturated with information, this book is outstanding and I will not soon forget it.
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Reading Progress

March 21, 2014 – Shelved
March 22, 2014 – Started Reading
March 26, 2014 – Finished Reading

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