Do you work with the terminally ill? Are you making that last journey with a loved one? Has someone you love just been hit with a dreaded diagnosis? Then David Kuhl’s book could be an important read for you.
I wish I had found this book when my husband was still alive. And I wish every doctor, caregiver and member of the terminally ill patient’s family would take the time to read it.
David Kuhl speaks honestly about his experiences and emotions as a doctor. The book clarifies not only the needs and desires of a dying person, but also the attitudes and challenges of the medical professional involved in diagnosis and treatment.
I found What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom for the End of Life in the White Rock Hospice Library. Leafing through the book, I realised that much of Kuhl’s research had been done at St. Paul’s, a Vancouver BC hospital where my husband was treated in the cardiology department over a period of twenty years.
I’m finding What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom for the End of Life an informative and compassionate read. For those who suddenly find themselves face to face with their own or their loved one’s mortality, it’s a read I highly recommend.
My husband thinks he is going to die. This Friday. On the table. Having an angioplasti.
He hasn’t said so, of course, but he’s hinted rather specifically.
If things don’t go right on Friday, he worries.
They will. I try to sound reassuring instead of impatient.
But if they don’t.. he begins again.
Then everything we’ve been talking about for the last twenty years will fall into place, I say.
Heartless of me, perhaps, but then we’ve been having this discussion since his first heart attack in 1993, since his ten or twelve angioplasties, since his open heart surgery in 2006, since his experimental bypass in 2012.
And looking at that history? I realize I have been a caregiver of sorts for most of our thirty year marriage.
I just want to enjoy the time we have left. Live in the present. Not the future or the past.
Because after all these years, I can’t help but be aware of the fact that I am a widow in waiting. And a guilty part of me does look forward to a life where I will not be second guessing anyone, where I will be the focus of my day, my money, and my life.
But that is not my focus now. My concern now is to get him in and out of that operating theatre with confidence. So I’m going in absolutely one hundred percent positive that everything will be fine.
History repeats itself, right? Pray God it does tomorrow, too.