by Judith Redwing Keyssar
LESSONS FOR THE LIVING FROM THE BEDSIDES OF THE DYING
When Plato was asked to sum up his life’s work, he simply stated, “Practice dying.”
Last Acts of Kindness allows a glimpse into this practice through the stories of those who have lived and died among us. In these chronicles of a midwife to the dying, Judith Redwing Keyssar speaks eloquently and from her heart about her extensive experience in the field of palliative care––providing nursing expertise along with emotional and spiritual guidance and support for people in hospitals, residential facilities, and in their own homes.
Keyssar encourages us to examine our personal relationships to impermanence and to consider the changes needed in our healthcare system to better serve us all at the end of life.
"Love and death are the great gifts that are given to us; mostly they are passed on unopened."
(R.M. Rilke—translation by Joan Halifax)
The AMERICAN JOURNAL OF NURSING has awarded LAST ACTS OF KINDNESS the 2011 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD in the category of Hospice and Palliative Care.