Intimate Death by Marie de Hennezel

Marie de Hennezel is a gifted psychologist who works as part of a remarkable team of doctors and nurses in a hospital for the terminally ill in Paris.  The men and women who attend the facility, some alone with no one to help, some with their families, do not always know that they are dying.  It is Marie de Hennezel’s aim first to bring them – and their loved ones – to this awareness and then to encourage them to live each remaining day  as fully as possible.  She also helps each patient move beyond pain, confusion, or despair and to make peace with the approaching end.  Through this book we are invited to watch as she sits with each individual, sometimes encouraging them to release their fears and angers, sometimes providing just a sense of calm, a comforting presence, or honest answers to difficult questions.  Through her gentleness and the unforgettable people she helps, we learn how precious the final days of a person’s life can be and how deeply moving it often is to share these moments with someone.  Even more, we come to realize just how much there is to learn about living from those who are dying.  In an age when we are largely unwilling to talk about death, this important and profound book encourages us to face the end of life in the hope we’ll make the best of each moment!  Certainly worth considering….