On Living PDF/EPUB Ú Paperback

On Living PDF/EPUB Ú Paperback

On Living [BOOKS] ⚣ On Living ⚡ Kerry Egan – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk A brave and uplifting meditation on how important it is to make peace and meaning of our lives while we still have them Elizabeth Gilbert bestselling author of Eat Pray LoveWhat are the greatest regre A brave and uplifting meditation on how important it is to make peace and meaning of our lives while we still have them Elizabeth Gilbert bestselling author of Eat Pray LoveWhat are the greatest regrets of the dying At her patients' bedside witnessing their final moments this is what Kerry Egan discovers How do the dying seek to making meaning of their lives the people and moments that have shaped them; and what are those things above all else that they wish they could have done differentlyFrom stories of families torn apart by war to making peace with the shame of a long hidden secret these are the tales of people who wished they had loved their partners cherished their children forgiven feuds and betrayals and those who simply wish they had danced This isn't a book about dying it's a book about living Each of Egan's patients taught her something how to find courage in the face of fear how to make amends whilst you still can how to see that the world is not just black and white and that there can be beauty in the greyIn this deeply moving and illuminating book Kerry captures the fragility of the human experience imparting the poignant and profound lessons from the dying on how to live a life without regrets.


10 thoughts on “On Living

  1. Darlene Darlene says:

    What a beautiful little book Part memoir part inspirational and part self help 'On Living' by Kerry Egan was one of the most uplifting books I've read this year I suppose it may seem strange to describe a book written by a hospice chaplain as uplifting but ultimately that's exactly what it wasKerry Egan began the book by describing a rough time in her life which ended up leading her to becoming a hospice chaplain Years earlier when giving birth to her son she was administered a drug during a caesarian which ended up inducing in her a period of psychosis She wrote honestly and with what seemed deep regret about the months she lost with her young son because of her inability to function as his mother Through her personal struggles she came to realize that ALL people experience some difficulty in their lives which they regard as significant and which might result in their uestioning the very meaning of their lives This realization and her desire to demonstrate her understanding and compassion toward struggling people led her to enter the Harvard Divinity School and conseuently she began her work as a chaplain for hospice services I don't know about you but when I think about the word chaplain I am reminded of the rigid dogma attached to religious beliefs I think of priests administering last rites to dying people I was surprised to learn that Kerry Egan in her role as hospice chaplain spent the majority of her time sitting at the bedsides of dying people and simply listening not praying and not reading from the Bible or other religious text but LISTENING to whatever her patients had on their minds Most often patients wanted to talk to her about their families and people they loved God and religion were rarely topics patients were consumed by in their final days As Ms Egan learned the often abstract thoughts of religious beliefs are really not how many people EXPERIENCE their lives Instead people's lives are experienced through the memories they create with their families and friends I thought a great deal about this idea and it really rang true for me I'm NOT a religious person but in looking at my life it is also made up of all the moments with my OWN family I think of happy moments the births of my children and the uiet I experienced with each of them at those 3 AM feedings sharing cherry popsicles with my kids on hot summer afternoons lying on our backs in the backyard and staring up at the night sky so I could teach them the names of the constellations reading bedtime stories and even the moments that weren't so great like losing a job or receiving a difficult diagnosis These are moments that although can't be associated with any religious beliefs to me have always gone hand in hand with a feeling of calm a stillness or sense of peace which I suppose is what I associate with MY sense of what God must BE or what God MEANS My favorite part of this little book was the stories that Ms Egan shared of lessons learned from her patients funny stories anguished stories sad stories Her patients had many stories and much advice to share I was particularly touched by the longing expressed by one of her patients to be touched by the people she loved She was starved for the touch of their hands and their embrace not simply the care which was taken of her physical needs but that human touch we all need from people who love us She wanted someone to touch her because she was loved by them Ms Egan also related a wonderful story in which the husband of a dying woman reminded her to stop looking at the world so much in terms of just black and white He told her that life was best lived by remembering to see all the shades of gray After all those shades of gray keep us from becoming too judgmental We never REALLY know someone's situation unless we put ourselves in their place shades of gray not black not white; not right not wrong Although this book was written by a hospice chaplain who spends her days with dying people it is really a book about life and living As Kerry Egan reminds us To die is a verb The dying are not a special sort of people; they are just doing something you haven't done yetA REALLY uplifting book


  2. Susan Kuhn Susan Kuhn says:

    I read this book several weeks ago when on vacation It has stayed with me despite the fact that I hadn't even intended to read it My friend had left it out on the coffee table and after I read the first few pages I was hooked With a mother's love Kerry Egan narrates a variety of moving and deeply personal stories her past clients have shared mostly about key life events that the individuals wish didn't happen but shaped them nonetheless in an unexpected nonjudgmental manner that helped me hit the refresh button on my own point of view of myself and my relationships With almost no previous thoughts to the daily tasks of a chaplain I was surprised by her humility open mindedness and love Egan also shows vulnerability and models self acceptance through writing about a very difficult time in her life after her son was born Through sharing these hardships she shows that we can sometimes find a little freedom from the weight of themThe two themes or ideas that really resonated with me were to try to be lovefull to myself and others and to remember we all live in the gray If you want to know what that means you will have to read it


  3. Erica Metcalf Erica Metcalf says:

    This book is a must read for all It's hopeful It's heartbreaking It's beautifulAnd it's jam packed with lessons that hit me harder than I was expecting them toI would VERY HIGHLY recommend this bookFavorite passagesHe seemed remarkably calm that his mother was a Grim Reaper in clogs and pants that were always too snug in the waist holding the power over life and death in the same hands that held his applesauce Every one of us will go through things that destroy our inner compass and pull meaning out from under usWe don't live our lives in our heads in theology and theories We live our lives in our families the families we are born into the families we create the families we make through the people we choose as friends Where there's breath there's hope Hope is a shape shifter that can appear and grow in even the tiniest of cracksThings are never as they appear My hospice patients have taught me that There are always layers to people’s lives unseen memories under every face every decision every movement or lack of movement There is always gray between the black and whiteWho do you believe yourself to be? It’s a strange uestion right? But trying to answer it honestly tells a person so much about themselvesNo one can go back in time to change what happened unless you're Marty McFly or Doctor Who and it didn’t always go so well for them either You cannot change your past and you cannot change yourself in the pastDying isn’t going to change who you fundamentally are either If you were a hilarious fun loving sex in a meadow kind of person at thirty five you’ll probably still be that way at eighty five even if you can’t get your own pants off any You might be even funnier because you’re no longer worrying as much what other people think If you were a selfish jerk in life there’s a good chance you’ll still be a selfish jerk when you’re dying Dying doesn’t automatically make you a better person If you haven’t asked for forgiveness or done any work to rebuild damaged relationships reconciliation isn’t going to magically come to you just because you’re at death's doorIf you want to apologize then apologize now If you want to tell someone you’re proud of them say it right now If you want to express your love call up and say “I love you” If you want to ask for forgiveness do it this second while there is still time to do the actual work that’s in solved in seeking and granting forgiveness and arriving at some reconciliation Don’t hold back


  4. Anna Anna says:

    Abigail Thomas wrote this blurb for On Living When I forget the importance of kindness when I forget to listen when I no longer recognize the comfort of a uiet presence when no words will help when I lose sight of what is most important I will want On Living within arm's reach always I love this bookI wish I had written that Me too This book is the book of 2016 for me I expect I will read it again and urge anyone I know and don't know to read it too It's a lifeline


  5. Canadian Reader Canadian Reader says:

    It's a beautiful life and then you leave it Promise yourself that you'll have a great life no matter what happensThe dying writes Kerry Egan a hospice chaplain are not different from you or me They are just doing something before we do In On Living Egan shares many stories of these patients Some of the stories concern burdensome secrets which the dying wish to be finally relieved of Other stories challenge both the author's and the reader's understanding of what is real or not real Most point to the idea that life needs to be lived flexibly in the graySome of Egan's observations and anecdotes are powerful than others but the one I was most affected by concerned a woman in her forties a mother with leukaemia who prayed and prayed to get better so she could mother her children again She only got sicker and sicker and the pain grew worse and worse Then Everything fell away she said and she understood finally that dying IS the answer Dying will take away the pain It's the only way the pain is going to end and the only way that my kids won't see me suffer any You see what I mean? The only way the suffering is going to end is me dying And I can teach my children how to die without fear That's what they'll learn from me That's how I'll be their mother No the dying may not be different from us but sometimes there is something they can show us a kind of grace and acceptance I have seen this in my own life and it was a lovely thing to find it so beautifully articulated in this bookWriter speaker and former director of palliative care for a major hospital network in Canada Stephen Jenkinson would agree with this dying mother Among the ideas he would add is that dying is part of our contract with life It is one of the things life asks of us Some readers may find Jenkinson's book Die Wise and the NFB of Canada film about him Grief Walker to be meaningful companion pieces to Egan's simple accessible textThroughout her book Egan unfolds some details about her own dramatic life changing event experienced as she was bringing her first child into the world No it was not a near death experience but it sensitized her to suffering and loss and laid the foundation for her to pursue work as a chaplainThe potential non religious reader like me should be assured that while there are religious references in the book from time to time one need not be Christian or a believer per se to appreciate this work It is also relatively and mercifully free of exhortations and cliches a la Chicken Soup for the Soul


  6. Ray Foy Ray Foy says:

    On Living is Kerry Egan’s recounting of stories told to her by hospice patients during her years as a chaplain I found it readable and engaging in relating the wisdom and healing Ms Egan found from listening to what people with little time left had to say Their stories are sometimes heart rending sometimes tragic sometimes funny but never morbid While it will make the open minded reader think about confronting death this book as the title indicates is really about confronting lifeMs Egan is unflinchingly honest in relating the experiences of her patients and of her work trying to help them She shows us people struggling to cope with incapacity and life’s impending end She also shows us her brush with psychosis that prompted her hospice work These dark passages are balanced however with commentary informed by her Harvard Divinity School education and the enlightenment she takes from her patients’ tales Indeed her knack for sueezing meaning from experience infused her first book Fumbling her story of hiking the 500 mile Camino de Santiago in northern Spain and kept me reading this oneThough it concerns dying On Living does not dwell on death It shows those who are dying as carrying on as well as they can to their last day Many take comfort from religion but some don’t Very often their concerns are mostly for those they will leave behind Where they are different from people not in a hospice Ms Egan tells us is that they know their time is short So all they do and say takes on an urgency that we should markMs Egan’s chapters are essays on themes relating to the experiences of one or patients She tells the dying person’s story and relates it to her own life Very often she makes a uick identification with a patient’s views For instance when one impressed upon her that since life is all shades of gray we shouldn’t get hung up on rules Following that maxim led to her being reprimanded for bending her job’s rules While some might judge her unfavorably for such an episode I see in it an intellectual honesty and empathy that must make her a great chaplain It certainly makes her a compelling writerThere are also in this book as in Fumbling paranormal highlights I think they enhance the subject matter They are described in her incidents with the “medicine woman” and with her “guardian angel” Such passages are powerful because they come from someone not given to supernatural themes They don’t detract from her central purpose but rather support it and emphasize life’s wonder Such wonder is perhaps readily seen when dealing with distress such as dyingMs Egan says There’s nothing stopping you from acting with the same urgency the dying feelFeeling that urgency is I think this book’s central message Such feeling creeps upon us as we grow older if we’re honest with ourselves We can dread it or let it spur us to a greater appreciation of life This theme leavens the stories and central narrative of On Living and makes it a worthy resource for inspiration and personal growthThere is a continuum in Ms Egan’s two books From Fumbling to On Living we see the maturation of the young Camino pilgrim into the experienced enlightened hospice chaplain Even so the young seeker is still there searching out the truth of life in her daily pilgrimage with a desire to share her insights with the worldI highly recommend On Living as an inspirational and thoughtful read Don’t let the hospice stories aspect put you off The book’s title accurately describes its theme; this is not a funeral dirge I do suggest though that you read Fumbling as well so as to appreciate Ms Egan’s personal evolutionThe stories in this book remind us that we’re all facing certain death You can take that as morbid or let it prompt you to act with an urgency for life


  7. Leigh Leigh says:

    Wow this book is powerful The part where one of her patients says that as a society we shower babies with love and affection but forget that dying people need that amount of love too Life gets harder as you get older This book if full of stories that make you stop think and reflect This book was a little blessing and I encourage any human to read it because the reality is we are ALL dying people


  8. Patricia Patricia says:

    I was drawn to read this book because the author reports on her time spent with dying patients in hospitals and hospices and I am a hospice volunteer I was very taken with how articulate she is about difficult topics She doesn't pretend to have answers yet she points to ways of thinking about life and death and uestions that are amazingly helpful I am going to buy a personal copy as I will want to reread this again and again


  9. Carol Carol says:

    The author is a Chaplin who visits patients in hospitals nursing homes and hospices then tells their stories Darlene's review says it all What a beautiful little book Part memoir part inspirational and part self help


  10. Judith Judith says:

    This is a lovely book written by a hospital chaplain who works primarily with hospice and other terminally ill patients You might expect it to be depressing or sad but it was aptly named Living not Dying The author is the kind of nonjudgmental person you would want next to you if you were on your way out Actually she's the kind of person you would want next to you at a cocktail party too She sees her job as providing a sympathetic ear and abiding by whatever uirks and eccentricities her patients express She's cheerful without being annoyingly so and she sets forth the the stories of her patients with great love and empathy The book consists of various chapters describing stories that her patients told her throughout the years and I found them so interesting One of my favorites was about a woman who had to give up her baby for adoption but regretted her decision the next day After much argument the social worker in charge told her that she couldn't get her baby back unless she could pay for her board and care medical and other charges incurred at the home for unwed mothers So she sold everything she possessed and collected all the money she could borrow from friends and family When she went the home the social worker took the money and then handed her the baby and said You will be a great mother because you fought so hard to keep this baby There are lessons to be learned from this book as well One of them is get used to your body and accept it don't spend your whole life hating your body


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