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Dying Well is not just a story about a husband and wife who learn how to celebrate life while facing impending death. This book is an inspiring love story of two people who go through good times and bad times, and in the end, face death with dignity and grace. The author thoughtfully relays their plan to celebrate life, not have regrets and face death peacefully, without fear. In this nine month journey, Susan shares the lessons learned as their family came to accept her husband’s imminent death. The family found many ways to make the last stage of his life as warmhearted and happy as possible. Even though this book is about death and end of life, it is very uplifting, thought-provoking and offers different perspectives on dying. This book has the power to help anyone who is facing death and those they love realize what is most important at the end of life.
As a retired hospice nurse, I have seen many families struggle with accepting a loved one’s terminal illness diagnosis. Even more difficult, once the diagnosis has been accepted, figuring out what needs to be done before death, which usually comes sooner than one would expect. Each family member has their own ideas of what should be done. Typically these family members are very verbal and push their own fears, desires and needs upon the dying family member. This creates extra stress for the person who is terminally ill. Ultimately, the patient’s wishes should be respected and followed as closely as possible.
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I really appreciated Susan’s approach in this difficult situation. She was completely supportive to all family members, especially her husband. Different options were discussed with the family. When Susan and Bruce finally decided they had enough treatment and wanted to live life with dignity to the end, not every family member agreed with them. The family did end up agreeing to honor Bruce’s wishes. Bruce went into hospice care and the family helped him celebrate his life and wrap up loose ends along the way.
Hospice is not some big scary word. it is a care philosophy. This care can be provided wherever the patient resides: home, apartment, hotel, group home, nursing home or inpatient hospice facility. Hospice is really a type of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. Family involvement is always encouraged. The hospice team, which consists of a nurse, social worker, chaplain and hospice aide, provides care for the patient and family. This care continues even after the patient has died. The pre-bereavement and bereavement support is phenomenal and can help families cope and thrive after the death of a loved one.
Planning for death is not an easy thing for most people. Just like planning for a birth, planning for death is just as important, if not more important. Even if you are not ill, it is a great idea to make your wishes known in writing and select a healthcare power of attorney to make decisions for you if you are ever incapacitated. This book presents many different practical options for end of life care and decision making. Susan did an excellent job in sharing end of life information in a non threatening way. I feel like she took the ‘scary’ out of death planning. In the end, it is truly the person’s life that should be celebrated.
About the Author:
Susan Ducharme Hoben is a former executive consultant with IBM’s Strategy and Change Consulting practice. She put her mathematics degree from Cornell University and graduate studies at Georgia Institute of Technology to good use in a thirty-five year career in information technology that began with systems engineering with IBM and ended with consulting. Upon retirement, Sue founded a travel journal about luxury barging in Europe.
After a lifetime of watching people die, and just as importantly, watching people live, Sue feels passionately that we Americans do not die well, taking a terrible toll on us, emotionally and financially. She hopes that her experience with an uplifting end-of life journey can contribute a valuable perspective to the growing interest in exploring how we die.
About the Reviewer:
Leigh Ann Tatnall is a retired RN who specialized in geriatrics, hospice and wellness. She has completed a Doctorates in Naturopathy and is a Certified Wellness Counselor. When not reviewing books, you can find Leigh Ann researching lyme disease, cooking, exercising, teaching wellness or crafting therapeutic essential oils. For more info, you can visit her on her website: Purfume Essentials or Leigh Ann’s Lyme
Since she was a young child, Giulia Jeary Knap has had a rare and touching ability to use her thirst for exploration of spirituality to comfort those who have lost loved ones. In fact, it’s a skill that has seen her dedicate her life to the study of mediumship and the Afterlife.
In 2014, Knap published the first two volumes in her ‘Between Heaven and Earth’ book series, which challenge readers to confront and embrace the fact that nobody truly dies, every passed relative can still communicate, and everyone is far more in control of their destiny than they think.
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Three years later, with both volumes garnering critical acclaim, Knap has re-written and published the books to an English-language audience.
‘The Afterlife: Hereafter and Here at Hand (Between Heaven and Earth Book 1)’ – Is mediumship a rare talent? Or does each of us have the potential to stay in touch with loved ones who have crossed over? In this groundbreaking book, expert astral traveller Giulia Jeary Knap presents evidence that we are all connected – and that connection doesn’t end with physical death.
Drawing on more than 25 years of in-depth research into mediumistic accounts and near-death experiences – as well as her personal meetings with deceased family members and friends, through dreams, lucid dreams and astral travel – Giulia examines the themes of transition, death, and life after death, and shares simple techniques for contacting your own dear departed on the spiritual plane.
This book is intended to be a source of comfort, not only for those who have suffered a loss, but also for anyone who has questions or doubts about a subject many find difficult to talk about.
The techniques described in this book do not require any special training; they are within everyone’s grasp. As Giulia demonstrates, our dear departed are closer to us than ever – and only too willing to reassure us, watch over us and guide us.
‘Looking Beyond the Fishbowl: A New Comforting Perspective on Reincarnation (Between Heaven and Earth) (Volume 2)’ – Author, astral traveller and mediumship and Afterlife researcher Giulia Jeary Knap returns with this in-depth analysis of inspiring reports from near-death experiencers and mediumistic accounts, as well as her own out-of-body experiences, to reassure us that death does not exist. The notion of multiple lives, so often misunderstood, cannot separate us. We are not all robots placed unwillingly in an overpowering and overcomplex system of life, death and rebirth that is beyond our control.
We never really lose the people dear to us, not even in our darkest moments. The spirit world is in fact our world; and we all have a mission in life, one we choose beyond space and time, which guides us every day and always, even through the circumstances and with the people that seem to cross our paths by chance.
Within this material realm, we are all like goldfish swimming in a bowl – but when we learn to look beyond the fishbowl, we will see that the temporary and apparently restrictive experience of earthly life enables us to make a brave and selfless contribution to the great spiritual design of which we are all an integral part.
“My goal with these books was to expose people to a world they didn’t know existed, or at the very least, didn’t understand – and do it through original, first-hand evidence” explains the author. “Death isn’t binary or an absolute, and nobody is “gone” forever. I want this to be a commonly-accepted fact, rather than something only the fair few accept. To achieve this, I decided to write a book that would make everyone aware of their abilities to communicate with those they thought they’d never speak with again.”
Continuing, “Equally, I wanted to change the notion that reincarnation is a haphazard process that individuals don’t have control over. Many people are fearful of reincarnation, but this is an often-misunderstood notion, especially when it presents man’s multidimensionality in a linear-time fashion. My idea is that we all have a unique and eternal personal identity and that death is simply a reawakening from an illusion, and we can choose to reincarnate to any degree, or to not reincarnate at all; the latter being something I present evidence for in the book. Whatever your belief system, I am confident my two books will change your outlook forever.”
Reviews for both have been impressive. For example, in reference to ‘The Afterlife: Hereafter and Here at Hand’, one reader comments, “This is a wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning to communicate with their deceased loved ones. Whether as a beginner or someone who has already started like me. There are lots of exercises in the book and they are very well explained. I feel like I can use the techniques here to build on what I’ve been doing.”
Marina Gallego was equally as impressed with ‘Looking Beyond the Fishbowl’, adding, “I started reading Giulia’s books following the death of a close family member. In this book, she presents a really interesting view on incarnation, adding numerous references and personal experiences, which really make the book interesting and easy to read. As with the first book, I found Giulia’s view of the afterlife uplifting. Her books really give me hope. I really recommend Giulia’s book to anyone who has lost a loved one or has any interest in the afterlife. Loved it!”
For more information and resources, visit the author’s official website: http://fracieloeterra.org.
About the Author:
Having earned a degree in Foreign Languages from the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Salerno University (Italy) in 1985, Giulia Jeary Knap worked for 13 years as an executive secretary for multinational companies. In 1999, in order to devote more time to her family, she became a freelance translator and interpreter. Thanks to her mixed heritage – Italian, British and Czech – she soon found out that one of her life passions was interpersonal communication. The emphasis of her work has always been on helping people understand one another.
As a child, she discovered she had an innate desire to research and experience the spiritual side of life and a keen interest in what happens after death. That is why she has spent the last 25 years actively researching the Afterlife and the circumstances that enable the physically living to contact discarnate spirits.
Since 1994, Giulia has had the opportunity of working as an interpreter at mediumship training events in the UK and in Italy, during which she attended hundreds of private sittings, as well as dozens of public demonstrations of mediumship and many lectures and workshops on the subject. She started reading anything she could lay her hands on, on the topic, and attended courses held by certified mediums to learn more about the mechanics and philosophy of mediumship. She also teamed up with other Afterlife researchers to experiment with after-death communication and how it works.
During these public events, Giulia met several hundred bereaved individuals and developed a specific interest in grief and bereavement support. She has since devoted a substantial part of her free time to comforting the bereaved, irrespective of their cultural or religious backgrounds.
Her work as an interpreter has played an important part in her interest in mediumship. Despite what she regards as her ‘many failures to communicate efficiently in everyday life’, she feels her key mission is to help people to communicate with each other, in this life and beyond.
In her free time, Giulia also enjoys painting as a means of expanding her awareness and linking with the spirit world.