Dr Kübler-Ross needs little or no introduction to the more than two million people who have purchased her previous books, On Death and Dying and Questions and Answers on Death and Dying.
Living with Death and Dying was written at the insistent request of patients, readers and parents of dying children, asking for more help in understanding the different languages used by terminally ill adults and children in trying to convey their inner knowledge and needs. It is a subject that has preoccupied generations of writers, painters and musicians. The author, a world-renowned authority on the care of the dying, sets out to clarify the theme of children and death for the benefit of parents, relatives, the medical profession and social workers who may have to cope with this most poignant of situations.
The book discusses the way children regard death and how they relate it to their own lives; how they understand the idea of their own death or that of a sibling or parent; what ‘language’, both verbal and non-verbal, they use in the presence of death; what their needs are when faced with death, in respect of love, reassurance, and above all, honesty.
Many of the author’s revelations may be surprising, some may even shatter the preconceived notions of adults, and all are the product of actual experience with death and the dying. Children are refreshingly free of cant in the presence of death, and the tone of the book emerges as both realistic and reassuring.
Of particular interest is an unique collection of specially selected colour paintings by children on the threshold of death, interpreted by Dr. Gregg M. Furth. While explaining the significance of the paintings, Dr. Furth shows how a perceptive reading of their ‘secret language’ can help parents and members of the caring professions to make a child’s last days dignified and meaningful.
“A useful insight into the thoughts and emotions of the terminally ill… This book uses case-histories in a sensitive way to demonstrate some of the emotions and feelings experienced by the dying and their relatives.”
“an expert on death and dying… an extraordinary empathy with dying people and their relatives… What emerges most strongly from this book is a need for people to be allowed to express feelings however angry, anguished or ‘bad’. It is a powerful plea for honesty.”
“The best PRO the dying ever had”