I’m reading “The Art of Dying Well” by Katy Butler.

While some friends have told me that it sounds depressing, I’m finding it uplifting and empowering. The first few chapters are relevant to me now, filled with gentle nudges to take my health and my future health care seriously.

The middle chapters focus on slowing down and adapting to changes in health and other circumstances, while the final chapters focus on preparing for a good death and developing a better understanding of what death actually looks and feels like.

While I hope my death is still decades away, what I’ve learned is what I wished I’d known 20 years ago when my father was dying of lung cancer: how to recognize when death is near even though the doctors you trust are saying your loved one will be fine.

Bev Bachel, Minneapolis

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