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Final Chapters

Writings About the End of Life
Regular price $15.95
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"The milkman cried when I told him you were dead.
'Last night,' I said, 'Mark died.'"

This collection brings together 30 short stories and poems about dying and bereavement. Written by mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, wives, husbands and dying people, these moving pieces talk honestly about how it feels to care for someone who is dying, to grieve for a loved one, and to face death oneself.

A candid story about a daughter's relationship with her mother's carer; an internal monologue on dementia; a deeply moving poem about losing a son to cot death; and a heartfelt story about a mother's end of life are some of the poignant pieces included. This collection provides an opportunity to think and talk about death and dying, too often a taboo subject, and offers readers the rare comfort and support of shared experience.
  • Published: Jan 21 2014
  • Pages: 128
  • 215 x 140mm
  • ISBN: 9781849054904
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Press Reviews

  • Sir Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate

    A collection such as this is bound to be very moving and sympathetic: the subject makes it inevitable. But the pieces in this collection are much more than cries of grief. For all their sadness, they are also brave, resolute, clever, and sometimes even funny. This means the book has a kind of stoic nobility, as well as a warm humanity. It's a very powerful combination.
  • from the Foreword by Jonathan Dimbleby, Chair of Dimbleby Cancer Care, UK

    The poems and prose in this small volume are a revelation. Written by some who grieve and others who are close to death, they do not invite a casual skim. They are by turns raw and harrowing, wry and bleak. But they have in common a compelling honesty that is touching and illuminating…At some point we will all face that inevitable terminus, the end of life. I think you will find that by facing that implacable fact, Final Chapters makes this shared prospect less daunting and therefore, perhaps, more bearable as well.
  • Alex James, MBACP Founder of

    Bereavement Care
    Very interesting book... The stories are well written, sensitive and provide good insight into the differing worlds of those facing loss... This book would be a very useful addition to any library and for those entering the services and professionals who wish to gain insight into dying death and bereavement.
  • Alex James, founder of

    Some [contributions] are uplifting and inspirational while others left me thinking why and wanting to run with my soap box to the nearest street corner and draw to public attention the true state of care for our elderly and lack of support for those facing dementia and terminal illness (unless of course you are fortunate enough to live in an area that is well provided for!)
  • Dr. Roger Woodruff, International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care, Australia

    I can happily recommend this book to anyone who works in palliative care, who I think will be interested to read how others see what we see every day.
  • Dr Ayesha Ahmad, BMJ Medical Humanities Journal's online blog

    Final Chapters...symbolises a somber acknowledgment of the tension encountered when cancer becomes the subject of our experiences. On a dual note, the book is also an opportunity for the bringing together of the suppressed moments of our society. There is an unveiling of the strange silence that the existence of cancer leaves in its trail....Whilst the book is an internal monologue of the contributors, there is a somewhat beautiful quality to the narratives for creating an entrance into the space of individual final chapters. We learn through the passages of the final chapters that even the last breath holds a story that transcends beyond the moment life surrendered.