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A Beginner's Guide to the End  By  cover art

A Beginner's Guide to the End

By: Dr. BJ Miller,Shoshana Berger
Narrated by: BJ Miller,Shoshana Berger
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Publisher's Summary

The first-ever practical, compassionate, and comprehensive guide to dying - and living fully until you do.

“There is nothing wrong with you for dying,” palliative care Doctor BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger write in A Beginner’s Guide to the End. “Our ultimate purpose here isn’t so much to help you die as it is to free up as much life as possible until you do.”

Theirs is a clear-eyed and big-hearted action plan for approaching the end of life, created to help listeners feel more in control of an experience that so often seems anything but. Their audiobook offers everything from step-by-step instructions for how to do your paperwork and navigate the health-care system to answers to questions you might be afraid to ask your doctor, like whether or not sex is still okay when you’re sick. You’ll be walked through how to break the news to your employer, whether to share old secrets with your family, how to face friends who might not be as empathetic as you’d hoped, and how to talk to your children about your will. (Don’t worry: If anyone gets snippy, it’ll likely be their spouses, not them.) There are also lessons for survivors, like how to shut down a loved one’s social media accounts, clean out the house, and write a great eulogy.

An honest, surprising, and detailed-oriented guide to the most universal of all experiences, A Beginner’s Guide to the End is the one audiobook that everyone needs.

©2019 Dr. BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

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What listeners say about A Beginner's Guide to the End

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Essential reading wiithout exception

i practiced hospital based medicine for thirty years. This is the book I wish had been available to me. i read it to screen before offering it to my family as my sister manages her cancer. I found more peace and comfort in these chapters and pages than all of my professional experiences combined. There is not one thing written that is disagreeable or even challenging to accept. If you or someone you know finds that death- at any pace or for any reason, then this book is for you. it will simultaneously comfort, guide, inform and support you without stepping on any of the near infinite numbers of sensitivities that exist.

9 people found this helpful

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touching and informative

a must read for those with a dying individual in their life. however, the swtich between the two writers in the reading can be a bit disruptive. The two authors would switch speaking in the middle of the chapters which could be a bit jarring. if they would switch between chapters that would be quite more logical

5 people found this helpful

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Literally a book laying out finalizing your estate

while this may be a useful book to set yourself up when things are coming to an end in life...I thought this was going to go more in depth to end of life care stories in hospitals, how to handle that personally/psychologically, or things along those lines. This is literally a book covering setting up wills, final wishes, etc.

2 people found this helpful

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Essential for mortals

Everything you ever wanted to know about dying and death. It's also a great read.

1 person found this helpful

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Factual, practical & clear

I hope I will dont need this book soon. But its good to organize, simplify and review your stuff, values and legacy often for living a good life, not just before death. Reminding oneself about death can clean out unecessary ruminations and what really matters can stand out. If you cant see it anyway, maybe a good psychotherapy can help you sort your thoughts (and sometimes bringing your consiousness from head to body can do the same). Some practical advice (legal and health insurance) is suited for Americas health system, so its not tell you much if you are from Europe for example (yet it can lead to gratitude for our health system if you are not from USA...). For me, most valuable part is that about fear of death aka mother of all fears. I don't that much fear dyings as I have a problem with being dead since I can't imagine it, maybe I also fear some brain injury or dementia (again because it hard to imagine, hard to grasp with reason). I authors cites Buddhists and stoics: coming close to a truth is always accompanied by fear (that gives me meaning in death) and peace was before your birth and will be after your death - and it's regardless if you're ateist or believer in some sort of way (that gives me comfort) - I am simplyfiyng here, but I gues everyone have some belief more or less.

1 person found this helpful

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everyone must read this

it's a must read!
it helps in all aspects of life. helps you understand what to do if you're dying, grieving or in the process of dealing with a loved one dying.

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Great information. weak audio

I would give it 5 stars if the audio was quite a bit louder.

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I blame Anderson Cooper

After listening to Anderson Cooper’s latest podcast about grief and his interview with BJ Miller, I had to listen to this book. Spot on about so many things. Wish I hadn’t had to learn the hard way but I learn best this way. As a twenty year ICU nurse and losing my own family, I feel I’m almost at expert level. Highly recommend this book to anyone that relies on breathing to live.

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So helpful; I wish I would have read it sooner

I bought and listened to most of this book on my last 8 hour drive to visit my dad. He was in the final stages of terminal brain cancer and had just gone to stay in a nursing home after my stepmom finally conceded that he needed more care than she and I could handle. I knew he didn't have long, even though he and my stepmom refused to consider the possibility that he may not pull through.

This book helped me to find strength, prepare for what was coming, and have some idea of what to do and what was happening. Dad ended up having even less time than I had thought but I was able to keep myself together enough to hopefully comfort him and ease his passing.

I really appreciate the authors' compassionate yet no-nonsense presentation of these difficult topics. One line that stuck with me was, "death isn't the end of life, it's a part of life."

I recommend this book to anyone, particularly those facing terminal illness, even if you don't think you need it yet, it's good info to have in your back pocket just in case.

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A must read for everyone

This book is organized very well and contains specific information surrounding every individuals journey towards death. The authors touched on every subject related to death and dying including medical wells, estates, social media, and grieving.