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Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

being mortal by atul gawande

Being Mortal is an extraordinary book. I want everyone I know to read it..

I’ve had it next to my bed for months but resisted reading it because I thought it would be hard. The subject matter is: Being Mortal – Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End.

But the writing itself is beautiful: conversational, empathetic and filled with stories of real life and real people battling with what happens when you approach the end of a life well lived. How do you map out the last chapter? @atul.gawande guides you through it.

Being Mortal is poignant and thought-provoking and immediately helpful. My brothers and I need to have a conversation with my dad to understand his priorities so that we can make the right decisions if he can’t make them for himself. Obviously none of us wants this to be the case, but not considering it as an option doesn’t make the likelihood go away.

Gawande’s emphasis is on being able to aim for a good day, even in your last days, whatever that means to you. And I feel like that’s a valuable question for all of us to ask ourselves, no matter what our age…

For me, a good day means being able to eat and enjoy food. Be in nature in some way. Ideally read a book or watch a movie or spend time with someone I love.

Does that mean I’m okay not being able to communicate? Not able to walk? Not able to go to the toilet alone? I want all that too! I hope I get it.

What I don’t want is a hospital death. I don’t want tubes and artificial breathing and a half life only possible with extreme medical intervention. I know that much is true.

It’s a heavy way to start the week, but the Stoics recommend a daily moment or two contemplating your death, to better fully appreciate your life. And I can see that at play here too. How remarkable that I’m drinking a cup of tea in a fresh morning breeze! I’m about to walk to my desk and start work for the day! Later I’ll go for a walk, and if I need to pee I’ll pop to the toilet and do it without a second thought.

Small gifts, friends, until they’re gone. Let’s all hunt for the slices of joy in the everyday this week ❤️

With huge thanks to @amandaabroad for loaning me this precious book 📖

#grief #slicesofjoy

Published inInspiring

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