A NOTE FROM DAVID KUHL
In the late 1970's, while I was attending graduate school, Rob, a close friend of mine, died of cancer. He was generous, funny, committed to making a difference in the world and very full of life. Then he died. His dying had a profound effect on me, so much so that two years later when I was a medical student I began to learn about caring for people at the end of life, particularly those with cancer. Ten years after Rob's illness I had the opportunity to start a palliative care program at a major teaching hospital. That was at a time when the challenge was to incorporate care, not only for people with cancer, but those with AIDS as well. That meant caring for men some of whom were younger than I was. I began to realize that while I was equipped to care for their pain and other symptoms, I was much less prepared to care for them, psychologically and spiritually. For that reason I conducted a study: Exploring Spiritual and Psychological Issues at the End of Life. I listened to the stories of people's lives, I worked to suspend judgment and to simply understand the experience of what it meant to live each day with the knowledge that the disease within them would likely be the cause of their death. It was an intense and an in-depth study. It was also a time of self reflection.
I learned a great deal from the people who courageously spoke their truth. In time, many of them asked me to share what they had given to me with others who would follow, those with a terminal illness as well as their friends and family members who would care for them and about them. They asked specifically that I write a book for a general audience, and not only for my colleagues. In the book, I work to present the themes that the people spoke of to me in their stories, to put them into a literary context, and to feature practical wisdom in each chapter. The essence of the research questions was, what is the daily experience of living with a terminal illness? How does that experience affect your sense of self, you relationship with others, and your understanding of the spiritual? The answers to those questions comprise What Dying People Want.
Pub date: 06/19/03
Price: $14.95/18.00 Canada
Carton Quantity: 28
Aging, Death & Dying, Sociology
Selling Territory: WORLD EXCL. CANADA,UK & COMMONWEALTH
Pub history: PublicAffairs hc