I just can’t write a review. I need to write you a personal letter. I need to thank you for crafting the most important book I have ever read on this topic of dying.
Bless your sweet heart and all your years of dedication to hospice as you sat by the bedsides of so many in their final moments of life. Thank you for your wisdom, insight, experience and for sharing them all with me so generously. Most important, finally, you – Tani Bahti – have demystified what will happen when I die? What a sign of relief!!
Your book “Dying to Know, straight talk about death and dying” is specifically written for me and explains everything completely! I love how you don’t belabor or sugarcoat any part of the process. I appreciate the short succinct chapters that get to the point, yet leave no stone unturned. My goodness – you even write about sex for the dying. Yes I agree life does not stop till we are dead: “why don’t medical-supply companies make double-sized hospitals beds?!”
I was aware that as my body continues to fail, it would be difficult on my ego. Your chapter “No Need to Lose Your Dignity” made me aware that “it has nothing to do with whether you are able to wipe your own face or behind,” that you “have (personally) witnessed the amazing grace of countless patients who let go of their previous self-image and focused on what was most important – giving and receiving love.” I get it now.
Tani, I have a few confessions. First, I was most confused about pain. I had wondered why, contrary to the accessibility of modern medicine, I have heard of those who still suffered from unbearable pain at the end. I was so perplexed by this. Now I understand more about rare occurrences of “intractable pain” and my need to insist on more pain medication if I’m uncomfortable – well, unless my condition is rare.
Also your chapter “The Line in The Sand” was one of the best I have read as you recalled your experience witnessing others deal with their own personal aid-in-dying debate. It’s such a difficult subject and your story about Tom’s process of dying and his determination “to take those little pills” if his cancer becomes a problem shed so much light on how fragile the line in the sand truly is. Now I grasp the mental and emotional concept of how what we consider normal changes along with our bodies as we wind down in life. Lots of food for thought.
What a gift for you to enlighten me as to how our bodies naturally shut down, altering our thirst, eating and bowel movements. Your honest tips on why we may not want medical intervention in many of these situations was, well quite frankly, invaluable!
I will endlessly recommend this book to everyone. In fact, last week I recommended it to a beginning hospice person who was thrilled to learn of such a book. I loved all your amazing stories and the quotes, like this one:
Love is the only thing we carry with us when we go,
and it makes the end so easy.
– Louisa May Alcott
This is now my go-to book that I will read over and over – the book I will keep when I sit by my parents some day, hopefully a very long time from now.
Here I have been living with this big mystery looming over my head for way too long. This letter was the best way I knew to thank you, dear Tani!
A big hug,
Read other helpful and wonderful reviews from our “Lending Insight” Library here.