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3.0 out of 5 starsUnspoken
Reviewed in the United States on February 8, 2014
Good, sad, makes us think , what would we do if we knew we were dying or losing a loved one
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Honest Account of a Difficult Topic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 5, 2014
Luke Allnutt has written of his experiences with his father who is dying. Death is the inevitable consequence of birth. The author frankly explains his own emotions and his approach to the inevitable. With a short prognosis, the family hold a Christmas in March with good intentions. Their father clearly sees this as the 'Last Supper' and realises his destiny. Death is not an easy subject to talk about. It is even more of a torment when it involves a loved one. The importance of an open and honest engagement from the diagnosis and start of the pathway with a person who is dying with relatives, medical and support staff is paramount. Some will not accept this and remain in denial, closed down both the affected and their loved ones. It may be initially harder and emotional to discuss prognosis and outcome but this approach is, when appropriate, reassuring for all concerned. Luke Allnutt speaks of his emotional turbulence, mistakes and eventual understanding.
Death is something we avoid talking about. I empathise with the author. As a medical consultant I have been professionally involved with these dilemmas and personally, as my father also had an inoperable brain tumour. His initial denial and subsequent events are almost a mirror image of this book. It may be a difficult topic and read but it is honest and is a short true account that will face us many of us. I strongly recommend this.
In this book we are given an account of the slow death of the author's father. I would not be surprised if it was closelty based on what actually happened as it decribed unflinchingly a lot of the less glamorous aspects of watching a person's phycial and mental decine, including the very boring parts. I found the experience of reading it so depressing that at one point I had to give up and read something more cheerful until I could bring myself to resume it. But there are insights which I will try to bear in mind in relation to my own life, and I can imagine that if one hasd suffered a comparable brereavement this book could bring a sort of comfort. So the author has acheived more than merely therapy for himself.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn honest and helpful account that made me feel like I knew Luke, his mum and his dad.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2014
This account tells the reader how the dying process happened in this family. I found it very helpful to read how the author's actual experiences of the process of losing his dad were not at all as he expected, and that his expectations about it were mostly based on the things we see on TV.
I was absorbed in it because ten years ago I lost my dad, and reading this helped me make sense of my own experience. (There were some parallels especially: the practicalities, adjusting to the gradual decline of a strong man, the final stages of wishing it would just end then when it did, feeling rather lost as all that care was no longer required.)
Everyone who loses a dearly-loved parent has to adjust her/his whole 'world-view' and it takes a long time. Finding that you were not by any means the only one to go through such an experience, helps a lot, even ten years on from it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2014
I expected to get upset whilst reading this book having sat with my father at the end of his life but it was so well written that although I had the odd tear in my eye I loved the way it had been written. I felt that the author was writing from experience because he captured the thoughts and feelings that I experienced and so felt that I was with him all the way through to the end. A great read.