A few weeks ago, I published a post about the books I have been reading since my husband’s diagnosis of cancer. I called it “My Other Reading” because I felt at the time that it was a separate reading journey for me. It was also a little easier than coming right out and saying that I am reading about disease, death, dying, end-of-life, and grief. But I have come to understand that it is not a separate reading journey for me. It is a very important pursuit of knowledge, and is taking central stage for much of my reading time these days. So I’m going to keep an ongoing list of this new journey, (like I do with my other reading journeys) and the books I am reading that help me understand and process what Byron and I are going through. I hope you will check back here occasionally to see where this search for knowledge and understanding is taking me.
I recognize that “end-of-life” is a topic that is uncomfortable for many. It is a very private journey, and our culture deems it to be something we just don’t talk about very much. But I make sense out what is happening in my life by reading, learning as much as I can, and then writing and talking over those ideas/learnings with my friends and loved ones. The conversations that have already been sparked, the book recommendations from friends and family, the kindnesses being shown to us by so many around us and in so many ways, are all deeply appreciated and help us with our processing. I also hope that in talking openly about our experience, it may help someone else process their own experiences with loss and grief.
And I am finding such interest, understanding, and solace in my reading about what we are going through right now. My reading is empowering me to do the best I can to be supportive, helpful, and understanding of Byron’s daily struggles with this disease. It is Byron’s illness, but our journey, together. And I want to do it well.
Red = click to read my review
Blue = Read but not reviewed yet
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
- Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gwandi. (Recommended by my friend, Les, at Coastal Horizons.)
- The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, by Francis Weller. (Recommended by my friend, Sandy, a breast cancer survivor.)
- Cured: Strengthen Your Immune System and Heal Your Life, by Jeffrey Rediger, MD. (Recommended by my grief counselor, Nina.)
- Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
- Notes on Grief, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche.
- That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour, by Dr. Sunita Puri. (Recommended by my sister-in-law, Nancy.)
- The Springtime of the Year, by Susan Hill.
- Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell.
- Courage, by Bernard Waber (a gift from my friend, Marlo.)