Sunday, October 15, 2017
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter
Margareta Magnusson published a book entitled, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:
A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life.
In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.
Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter, M.D., published a book entitled, Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:
In medical school, no one teaches you how to let a patient die.
Jessica Zitter became a doctor because she wanted to be a hero. She elected to specialize in critical care—to become an ICU physician—and imagined herself swooping in to rescue patients from the brink of death. But then during her first code she found herself cracking the ribs of a patient so old and frail it was unimaginable he would ever come back to life. She began to question her choice.
Extreme Measures charts Zitter’s journey from wanting to be one kind of hero to becoming another—a doctor who prioritizes the patient’s values and preferences in an environment where the default choice is the extreme use of technology. In our current medical culture, the old and the ill are put on what she terms the End-of-Life Conveyor belt. They are intubated, catheterized, and even shelved away in care facilities to suffer their final days alone, confused, and often in pain. In her work Zitter has learned what patients fear more than death itself: the prospect of dying badly. She builds bridges between patients and caregivers, formulates plans to allay patients’ pain and anxiety, and enlists the support of loved ones so that life can end well, even beautifully.
Filled with rich patient stories that make a compelling medical narrative, Extreme Measures enlarges the national conversation as it thoughtfully and compassionately examines an experience that defines being human.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Patrick O’Malley, PhD & Tim Madigan, published a book entitled, Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:
When the New York Times ran Patrick O’Malley’s story about the loss of his infant son—and how his inability to “move on” challenged everything he was taught as a psychotherapist—it inspired an unprecedented flood of gratitude from readers.
What he shared was a truth that many have felt but rarely acknowledged by the professionals they turn to: that our grief is not a mental illness to be cured, but part of the abiding connection with the one we’ve lost.
Illuminated by O’Malley’s own story and those of many clients that he’s supported, readers learn how the familiar “stages of grief” too often mislabel our sorrow as a disorder, press us to “get over it,” and amplify our suffering with shame and guilt when we do not achieve “closure” in due course.
“Sadness, regret, confusion, yearning—all the experiences of grief—are a part of the narrative of love,” reflects O’Malley. Here, with uncommon sensitivity and support, he invites us to explore grief not as a process of recovery, but as the ongoing narrative of our relationship with the one we’ve lost—to be fully felt, told, and woven into our lives.
For those in bereavement and anyone supporting those who are, Getting Grief Right offers an uncommonly empathetic guide to opening to our sorrow as the full expression of our love.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Book on Resilient Grieving: Finding Strength and Embracing Life After a Loss That Changes Everything
Lucy Hone, PhD, published a book entitled, Resilient Grieving: Finding Strength and Embracing Life After a Loss That Changes Everything (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:
“This book aims to help you relearn your world . . . to help you navigate the grieving process as best you can—without hiding from your feelings or denying the reality, or significance, of your loss.”
—from Resilient Grieving
The death of someone we hold dear may be inevitable; being paralyzed by our grief is not. A growing body of research has revealed our capacity for resilient grieving, our innate ability to respond to traumatic loss by finding ways to grow—by becoming more engaged with our lives, and discovering new, profound meaning.
Author and resilience/well-being expert Lucy Hone, a pioneer in fusing positive psychology and bereavement research, was faced with her own inescapable sorrow when, in 2014, her 12-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. By following the strategies of resilient grieving, she found a proactive way to move through her grief, and, over time, embrace life again.
Resilient Grieving offers an empowering alternative to the five-stage Kübler-Ross model of grief—and makes clear our inherent capacity for growth following the trauma of a loss that changes everything.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
C.S. Lewis published a book entitled, A Grief Observed (1961). Provided below is a summary of the book:
Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moment," A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: "Nothing will shake a man -- or at any rate a man like me -- out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself." This is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Dale Bredesen recently published a book entitled, The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:
A groundbreaking plan to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s Disease that fundamentally changes how we understand cognitive decline.
Everyone knows someone who has survived cancer, but until now no one knows anyone who has survived Alzheimer's Disease.
In this paradigm shifting book, Dale Bredesen, MD, offers real hope to anyone looking to prevent and even reverse Alzheimer's Disease and cognitive decline. Revealing that AD is not one condition, as it is currently treated, but three, The End of Alzheimer’s outlines 36 metabolic factors (micronutrients, hormone levels, sleep) that can trigger "downsizing" in the brain. The protocol shows us how to rebalance these factors using lifestyle modifications like taking B12, eliminating gluten, or improving oral hygiene.
The results are impressive. Of the first ten patients on the protocol, nine displayed significant improvement with 3-6 months; since then the protocol has yielded similar results with hundreds more. Now, The End of Alzheimer’s brings new hope to a broad audience of patients, caregivers, physicians, and treatment centers with a fascinating look inside the science and a complete step-by-step plan that fundamentally changes how we treat and even think about AD.
Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chris Hogan recently published a book entitled, Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number (2016). Provided below is a summary of the book:
What do you think of when you hear the word retirement? Do you see yourself spending weeks at a time with your grandchildren? Volunteering your time to a worthy cause? Traveling to remote vacation spots you’ve always wanted to visit? Those dreams simply don’t line up with the reality of many working Americans. Rather than packing their bags for a month-long escape, many retirees will be packing their lunch for an eight-hour shift. And it’s not because they want to; it’s because they’re broke! In Retire Inspired, Chris Hogan teaches that retirement isn’t an age; it’s a financial number—an amount you need to live the life in retirement that you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you’re twenty-five or fifty-five, you can start now. Chris will equip you with a plan to make your own investing decisions, set proper expectations with your family for retirement, and build a dream team of experts to get you there. You don’t have to retire broke, stressed, and working long after you want to. You can retire inspired!
Monday, September 11, 2017
Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant recently published a book entitled, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.
Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.
Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.
We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Victoria Brewster & Julie Nierenberg recently published a book entitled, Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:
In Journey's End, many and varied collaborators write about death, dying, and the end of life. We attempt to describe real life issues and circumstances, and we discuss ways to proactively deal with them. Useful training, resource, and reference material is also included.
Death, dying, and end of life are topics many prefer to avoid. This book suggests that we benefit from having frank discussions, living life to the fullest, and planning for our own journey's end, whenever that may be. Everyone who is born eventually will die, whether or not we want to embrace that fact.
Though few of us know when we will die, we and our family or friends can be well prepared. We can have discussions and create written directives for what we want, if we are unable to verbally state them ourselves. Do we want life support? Do we want interventions that may or may not have any benefit to our quality of life if we are in the hospital or in an accident? Do we want to be involved in planning our funeral, memorial, or celebration of life?
The submissions within are from professionals in the field of death and bereavement support and from laypeople, all of whom share stories of dying family members, friends, clients, and patients. Julie and Victoria, the coauthors of this book, also share stories from their personal and professional experiences. Journey's End is a broadly comprehensive book about death, dying, and the end of life.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center has chosen Alfred Brophy as a finalist for the 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize for “University, Court, and Slave: Pro-Slavery Thought in Southern Colleges and Courts and the Coming of Civil War” (Oxford University Press). Professor Alfred Brophy teaches at The University of Alabama School of Law in the fields of trusts, estates, property, and remedies. Professor Brophy received his J.D. from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
The Frederick Douglass Book Prize represents one of the most highly sought-after awards relating to the study of the African-American experience. The $25,000 prize is given annually to the winner of the award as recognition for the best book on slavery, abolition, and/or resistance published in the preceding year.
See 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalists Announced, Yale Macmillan Center, August 1, 2017.