Although not an easy topic, we are seeing more books about how to deal with death and dying. Myra Bennet has written an important book. Check out my interview with her and enter to win a copy or a $25 Amazon GC.
Book Title: Dying Made Easy(er): Creating Your Happy Ending by Myra Bennett
Category: Adult non-fiction (18 +), 270 pages
Genre: Self help
Publisher: Balboa Press
Release date: June 2019
Tour dates: Sept 16 to Sept 27, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (book discusses death and dying)
In Dying Made Easy(er) by Myra Bennett, we are guided through the diverse phases and considerations of the end of life by an experienced traveler who’s spent many hours “as a guest in the sacred place of the dying.” Bennett, a hospice nurse and end-of-life guide, who has also grappled with death in her personal life, invites us to contemplate dying from many different angles: legal, social, physical, psychological, and spiritual. Her Dying Made Easy(er) is both a handbook of pertinent information and a medley of informed suggestions for us to consider when experiencing or sharing the phenomenon that is the end of life. Bennett believes it is imperative that we—as a community—are aware of how to find help when faced with death and dying. In Dying Made Easy(er), she provides the resource to address this pressing need.
To read reviews, please visit Myra Bennett's page on iRead Book Tours.
LCR: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. I work as a Special Care Counsellor helping families manage symptoms and behaviors of seniors with dementia. I deal with family members who are watching a parent, brother or sister die a slow death from the heartbreaking disorder of dementia. In view of this, do you address this particular disorder in your book, especially since this is on the rise in an alarming way?
MB: Honestly Laura, dementia is one of the most difficult terminal conditions for the family and loved ones, for the reason you state. The loss occurs in painful bits and pieces, sometimes over a long drawn out period. In a real sense, the person who is known and loved by the family dies long before the last breath is taken. Having said that, the subject of Dying Made Easy(er) is death and dying, and while the medical condition which will likely cause the death is very important indeed, there are simply too many terminal conditions to cover in a book such as this. And doing so would vear from the intention of the book, which is to learn how to see death and dying as a natural life event.
LCR: How did you go about writing your book? Did you interview professionals in the field, whether medical, legal or spiritual? Talk to family members? Studied the latest statistics of end of life care? etc.
MB: Thank you for this question Laura! I interviewed a few local professionals which are named in the book. But other than relying on my own personal and professional experiences, most of the information was obtained by doing research on the web.
LCR: You are a certified end of life doula. Can you tell us more about that?
MB: Yes, I am always happy to talk about this field, as it is a relatively new service and not well understood. There are several trainers nationally as well as internationally who offer certification programs for those who wish to serve as an end of life doula. There are in-person programs, as well as many that are online. Most trainers require that the student have experience working with the dying person, or is willing to serve as a hospice volunteer in order to gain experience. And many of the trainers require mentorships as well, based on the student’s past experiences. I am certified by the organization Doulagivers, which is based in New York. I am also a member of the end of life doula organization, National End of Life Doula Alliance (NEDA).
LCR: In your book, do you take into account different cultures and their views on deaths or is it more centered on the North American culture?
MB: This is a very important issue Laura, and I appreciate the question! As a hospice nurse for many years and now as an end of life doula, I understand the importance of the dying person’s spiritual and religious convictions, as well as their cultural traditions to bring comfort during this time. So yes, the book makes mention of these differences without going into great detail, as spiritual, religious and cultural differences are so extensive in humanity. The important point I make in the book is that--by staying open minded about our differences--we can be the comforting support needed by the dying person and those who are present.
LCR: What is your best advice as someone with your experience in end of life care?
This question gives me an opportunity to pause and do a little contemplating, as there is so much advice I can give that will make a huge difference in the dying experience for my reader. But honestly Laura, the “best” advice would be to just bring the subject of death into everyday life. Exposure to the topic is the first step in taming our fear, which can then open us up to becoming proactive in planning an intentional dying experience. I strongly believe that the ending of our life is still life, and deserves our honoring it.
And I have never heard anyone say that preparing for a meaningful dying experience was a mistake!
Myra has been a student of death and dying since she experienced the loss of her husband in 2001. The years that would follow saw the loss of many friends and family as well, which gave her life experiences she would later use to care for patients as a hospice nurse at a large national hospice agency.
Today Myra is a certified end of life doula at Compassionate Crossings in Sacramento where she not only guides and supports terminally ill persons and their families, she also speaks and educates on all subjects related to death and dying.
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