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How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter

av Sherwin B. Nuland

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,150277,398 (4.12)27
There is a vast literature on death and dying, but there are few reliable accounts of the ways in which we die. The intimate account of how various diseases take away life, offered in How We Die, is not meant to prompt horror or terror but to demythologize the process of dying to help us rid ourselves of that fear of the terra incognita. Though the avenues of death - AIDS, cancer, heart attack, Alzheimer's, accident, and stroke - are common, each of us will die in a way different from any that has gone before. Each one of death's diverse appearances is as distinctive as that singular face we each show during our lives. Behind each death is a story. In How We Die, Sherwin B. Nuland, a surgeon and teacher of medicine, tells some stories of dying that reveal not only why someone dies but how. He offers a portrait of the experience of dying that makes clear the choices that can be made to allow each of us his or her own death.… (mer)
Senast inlagd avprengel90, lafstaff, BeaThompson, srhuskey, kimmyers6, transsex_jesus
Efterlämnade bibliotekGillian Rose
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» Se även 27 omnämnanden

engelska (26)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (27)
Visa 1-5 av 27 (nästa | visa alla)
A myth-busting book that addresses the many ways our bodies fail us in the end. Not particularly uplifting.
( )
  jemisonreads | Jan 22, 2024 |
Very helpful in understanding that last phase of life, and keeping it all in perspective when dealing with a family member's imminent demise. And of course, one's own ultimate journey, as no one gets out of here alive. ( )
  Cantsaywhy | Nov 27, 2022 |
This is a great book if you would like to know about the physical responses that the body goes through while dying and after death. Each chapter is framed with, i believe, a factual story about someone who suffered with the condition that the chapter is about. Sad and fascinating. ( )
  Drunken-Otter | Aug 20, 2021 |
"Stand by me, Death, lest these dark days

Should hurt me more than I may know;

I beg that if the wound grows sharp

You take me when I ask to go.

Step closer, Love, and dry your eyes,

What's marred you'll never mend by tears;

Let's finish where the tale began

And kiss away the ruined years.

A moment, Faith, before you leave,

There's one last favour I would ask:

Put to use your handsome hand

And show me the face behind your mask."



"Three Pleas" by Henry Treece



I understand that imagining my personal death, for instance, is truly horrendous, and I guess that what makes me worried is indeed the very thought of that last process of existence, particularly whether it would be with great physical and mental suffering while I am being aware of it. I would rather dream of having a quick, sudden and peaceful end. Although I have to admit that the process of planning it that how it ought to happen would be desirable, but absurd. Of course, in an ideal situation, I guess, I should rather be thinking about the moments that I am still around (alive), not thinking all the time when its time comes or how I would prefer “to plan” it to proceed. Moreover, there is a sort of irony in this way of defining life, waiting to end that is, and I blame it to a metaphorical conceptualisation of sort of banal existence that derives us unwillingly and irrationally to self termination. Isn’t it prioritising life for ding rather than living? The irony is that life, in general, might have already become something of illusionistic, artificial and self oriented materialistic values. Say for example, I am recording and televising my death. What am I trying to say by that? Self-pity?

After having finished Nuland’s book, I have allocated some minutes to wondering about death and have emerged hoping that I will be struck by lightening or hit by a coconut. And then people would say, "He was sooo random until the end." I think we have a whole industry devoted to making us smile in the face of fear, not least the execrable breast cancer pink posse making it sound like it's as easy as getting over being fired.

The great thing about living to the threshold of old age is that it gives you a chance to adjust to the idea of dying. When I was young, the idea of dying appalled me, but as I died to my youth, the prospect of dying to my life didn't seem anywhere near as appalling as it did when I still possessed youth - or the illusion thereof. As you get older, you die bit by bit, so the final heave into death doesn't seem as great as it once did. Of course, the prospect of suffering pain while dying, is not alluring, but, as for death itself, I think in the end you realise that it just goes with the territory and accept it.

I used to live each day as if it were my last. Now I live each block of hours and it's fun. I'm not thinking about death but rather about enjoying life and not wasting time.

Who has any idea how they will react when it happens. And what is right or noble? ( )
  antao | Jun 5, 2021 |
In When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi recommended this book so I sought it out and read it.

Taking a tour of heart disease, Alzheimer's, AIDS and cancer, Dr. Nuland presents a dispassionate, yet compassionate, review of what doesn't make us stronger.

It was good to learn that my late father's always-joke was pretty much true. When asked for anyone's cause of death, he would invariably say, "they stopped breathing."

I can't really put my finger on my recent interest in death, its mechanics, its impact although I'm guessing my father has plenty to do with it. Still, this demystification of our necessary ends is oddly comforting and bracing. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
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To my brothers, Harvey Nuland and Vittorio Ferrero
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Everyone wants to know the details of dying, though few are willing to say so.
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In charity or love there is an understanding of another's perceptions and there is also unqunchable faith. (p. xii)
That day would surely have been a lot easier for me, and its memory less painful, had I but known that not only my own grandmother but indeed everyone become littler with death--when the human spirit departs, it takes with it the vital stuffing of life. (pp. 62-63)
Whether the result of wear. tear, and exhaustion of resources or whether genetically programmed, all life has a finite span and each species has its own particular longevity. (p. 84)
As a confirmed skeptic, I am bound by the conviction that we must not only question all things but be willing to believe that all things are possible. (p. 138)
Nature is being kind without knowing it, as nature can be cruel without knowing it. (p. 193)
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

There is a vast literature on death and dying, but there are few reliable accounts of the ways in which we die. The intimate account of how various diseases take away life, offered in How We Die, is not meant to prompt horror or terror but to demythologize the process of dying to help us rid ourselves of that fear of the terra incognita. Though the avenues of death - AIDS, cancer, heart attack, Alzheimer's, accident, and stroke - are common, each of us will die in a way different from any that has gone before. Each one of death's diverse appearances is as distinctive as that singular face we each show during our lives. Behind each death is a story. In How We Die, Sherwin B. Nuland, a surgeon and teacher of medicine, tells some stories of dying that reveal not only why someone dies but how. He offers a portrait of the experience of dying that makes clear the choices that can be made to allow each of us his or her own death.

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