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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.