Dying Well

Our Journey of Love and Loss

Non-Fiction - Memoir
288 Pages
Reviewed on 04/16/2019
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Author Biography

In her award-winning book, Dying Well: Our Journey of Love and Loss, Susan Ducharme Hoben relates an uplifting end-of-life story, offering a thought-provoking perspective on dying, and presenting a model for dying peacefully free of fear and regrets. She has appeared on top media outlets speaking about how we can all choose to "die well," including NBC and ABC, public radio affiliates, and Sirius XM/Doctor Radio. Her articles and Op-Eds have been published online and in newspapers across the country. She speaks to community organizations, hospice and healthcare groups, libraries and book groups.

Grounded in research, as well years of observation and reflection, Hoben’s insights and experience challenge and inspire us to fundamentally shift our perspective on death. By describing specific decisions and actions we can take, she shows us how to remain calm and confident as we prepare for death, powerful as we navigate the healthcare system to get what we want, joyful and grateful at the end, knowing we have given the gift of dying well to those we love.

As someone who has lived the end-of-life experience she is advocating, she brings an important and missing perspective to the growing national dialog about dying. She shows us what is possible and demonstrates the value not just to the person who is dying but to those left behind.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Dying Well: Our Journey of Love and Loss by Susan Ducharme Hoben is a heartwarming memoir with wonderful lessons on embracing life and the inevitable moment of death. Diagnosed with a terminal illness, Bruce knows his days are numbered, and this is horrible news for anyone. Instead of allowing anxiety and worry to set in, this courageous man looks towards the final moment with hope, love, and surrender, and does something that will surprise readers. What does it take to die in peace and serenity? How does one find meaning when they know their time is limited? In this story of love and inner freedom, we follow a man who transforms the last days of his life through gratitude for life, celebrating family and finding opportunities to spend quality time with his wife.

In this memoir, Susan Ducharme Hoben opens the soul of their family to readers and, in a tone that is both lively and filled with emotion, allows readers to share some of the beautiful moments spent with her dying husband. “Bruce and I entertained often. Whether small dinner parties, summer cookouts, or large Christmas parties, our gatherings always ended in dancing, and often included hot dogs on the grill at midnight.” Instead of allowing the thought of death to negatively affect the way he lived, Bruce learned to make meaningful decisions about his life and his family: “When the time had come for my husband, Bruce, to make hard decisions, he chose quality of life over quantity, having formed his end-of-life wishes over a lifetime of watching people die, and just as importantly, watching people live.”

This is one of the most beautiful books I have read about dying and besides being a wonderful wife to a great man, this author has the gift for storytelling, captivating readers with her prose and nurturing their spirit with the wisdom of love in difficult times. Dying Well: Our Journey of Love and Loss will transform the way each of us lives and the way we prepare for our final moment. There is humor, there are powerful lessons, and there are moments that are filled with revelation.