Cover image for Dying : a guide for helping and coping
Dying : a guide for helping and coping
Shepard, Martin, 1934-
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : G.K. Hall & Co., [2000]

Physical Description:
271 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF789.D4 S478 2000B Adult Large Print Large Print

On Order



Dying is a guide not only to dealing with the death of loved ones, but an exploration of facing one's own death. It is designed to amplify and challenge perceptions of both the dying process and death itself, in order to allay fears, find a more loving and rewarding experience, and build a richer spiritual foundation.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Shepard, a psychiatrist, bases this guide on the experiences of his patients and his father. He states the theme early: "Most of us start off at a disadvantage because we regard death as a calamity." Honesty, open communication, and freed emotions, however, can be the foundation of a comfortable and comforting death. Shepard interviews patients and family members alike to elucidate how anxieties, blockages, and dislikes are brought out and either dispersed or accepted. Acknowledging that no one is perfect, Shepard shows that imperfections can be dealt with successfully in most cases. Good relationships are essential. The patient must trust that the physician will answer questions clearly and without sugarcoating. Family members must make the best of the time remaining to the patient. Finally, the dying person must be responsible for attaining personal peace of mind. Shepard also gives practical advice on wills, cremation, and funeral homes. The accompanying line drawings of the sick and dying, done by Shepard's father during his final illness, fit the book perfectly. --William Beatty

Publisher's Weekly Review

Anyone facing a terminal prognosisÄas helper, friend, relative, patient or health-care professionalÄ will find useful lessons in psychiatrist Shepard's look at how to deal well with impending death. Patients want to know how others have felt; family members want to know what to do. Some health-care professionals could use advice on what to disclose, and how, and to whom, and when. Most of the volume alternates straightforward adviceÄcouched so as to reach a broad audienceÄwith brief interviews with patients or their intimates. A law student now recovering from a malignant melanoma recollects his diagnosis and surgery. A 65-year-old contractor with myeloma illustrates how "one can... know the truth and still be optimistic." "Karen," a nurse, describes how she has coped with Hodgkin's diseaseÄand how her husband seems to have practiced denial. And a cheery middle-aged nun explains, in fairly ecumenical terms, how she takes care of herself and keeps her outlook bright. Shepard (Fritz) includes an invaluable, if brief, section on the legal, practical and financial aspects of dying and being a survivorÄwills, insurance, pensions, planning a funeral. Hospice care deserves and gets its own chapter; so does bereavementÄ"Deborah" describes the aftermath of her father's suicide; "David" describes his life as a widowed single parent. Boxed quotes and last words from famous and semifamous artists, wits and thinkers (Shakespeare, Browning, F.H. Bradley) adorn every chapterÄleading up to a concluding section of meditations penned by Shepard himself: e.g., "None of us will ever get out of this world alive." Several chapters of this admirable book feature line drawings by Shepard's father, who died in 1972, soon after completing them. Large print edition rights sold to Thorndike. (July) FYI: Shepard is the cofounder and copublisher of the Permanent Press. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved