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A Beginner s Guide to the End: How to Live Life to the Full and Die a Good Death

BJ Miller, Shoshana Berger

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Sociology: death & dying

A beautiful meditation on death as well as an actionable guide to all the logistics surrounding the end of a life - BEING MORTAL meets WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR.

"I wish I'd had this book when I needed it. Death and dying are not subjects that many people are comfortable talking about, but it's hugely important to be as prepared as you can be - emotionally, physically, practically, financially, and spiritually. This book may be the most important guide you could have." - Elizabeth Gilbert, author of EAT PRAY LOVE
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The end of a life can often feel like a traumatic, chaotic and inhuman experience. In this reassuring and inspiring book, palliative care physician Dr BJ Miller and writer Shoshana Berger provide a vision for rethinking and navigating this universal process.

There are plenty of self-help books for mourners, but nothing in the way of a modern, approachable and above all useful field guide for the living. And all of us - young, old, sick and well - could use the help. After all, pregnant couples have ample resources available to them as they prepare to bring a new life into the world: Lamaze courses, elaborate birth plans, tons of manuals. Why don't we have a WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING TO DIE book?

An accessible, beautifully designed and illustrated companion, A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE END offers a clear-eyed and compassionate survey of the most pressing issues that come up when one is dying, and will bring optimism and practical guidance to empower readers with the knowledge, resources and tools they'll need to die better, maybe even with triumph.

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BJ Miller

Dr. BJ Miller, Jr. is a hospice and palliative care specialist. He is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at UCSF where he attends on the Symptom Management Service at UCSF's Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Center, one of the first community-based palliative care programs in the country. He is also a long-time director of the Zen Hospice Project, a pioneering hospice organization in San Francisco.
BJ is a native of Chicago. He studied art history as an undergraduate at Princeton University. He worked for several years for art and disability-rights nonprofit organizations before earning a medical degree at UCSF. He completed an internal medicine residency at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, where he was chief resident, and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Harvard Medical School, working at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In his work, he connects humanism and medicine in end-of-life and upstream palliative care.

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