Honest Endings

A Social Worker's Life in the World of Hospice

Non-Fiction - Memoir
54 Pages
Reviewed on 10/05/2020
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Author Biography

Yes, it takes courage to face your fears...the reward is faith, freedom and confidence.

I am a 35-year veteran of the field of social work. The experience of working at hospice stirred deep emotions within me; feelings I didn't have time to process at the time. Journaling lead me to write Honest Endings, and it is my hope that it will be helpful to dying patients and their families, as well as students and helping professionals.

I decided to write this book several years after working at a hospice agency. In Honest Endings, I show you that attending a death is a very special form of intimacy; an enormous act of love and caring..join me on my journey as I face my own anxieties about death.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tommy Wong for Readers' Favorite

On the surface, Honest Endings: A Social Worker’s Life in the World of Hospice by Katherine Cullen is a book written by a social worker about her hospice work. In actual fact, the book is much deeper. It is written by a human being who cares deeply about the deaths and lives of fellow human beings. Katherine Cullen not only had to care for the patients who were dying but also the families of the patients, who were living. In the book, Katherine Cullen shares her real-life experiences in a prologue and five chapters.

I can appreciate Honest Endings by Katherine Cullen since my wife and I took care of both of our parents during their final years. Honest Endings is a very well written memoir and with deep emotions; kudos to Katherine Cullen. In the prologue, she shares her background and how she joined the hospice. I found that interesting and intriguing. In the subsequent chapters, she shares the physical and emotional demands of working as a social worker with little support, and how she suffered compassion fatigue as a consequence. On the other hand, she found the job both fulfilling and meaningful. For example, in one instance, she was the only person who could give comfort to a dying man. There is a twist in the story on how she left the hospice and another on how God notified her not to return – how spiritual! Finally, she reflects on her experiences in the hospice and how she gained a new perspective on death and life. A really worthwhile read for those who are interested in the final phase of life.