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Dying to live. A personal journey through terminal illness using spiritual logic

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Title: Dying to live. A personal journey through terminal illness using spiritual logic

Author: Helen K Emms        

Publisher: Live It Publishing 

Reviewer: Helen Reeves, clinical nurse manager, St Giles Walsall Hospice

What was it like?

Dying to live is a personal insight into Helen K Emms’s life. It details the journey that Helen encountered when her mother was diagnosed with having a brain tumour in March 2011. The book’s aim is to look at bereavement taking into account spiritual logic, insights and lessons to support the handling of death, dying and loss. The remainder of the book looks at Helen’s life culminating in the death of her mother and how she handled this.


What were the highlights? 

The book’s easy-to-read style, immerses you immediately into Helen’s journey. Each chapter has spiritual logic insight, which encourages deeper synthesis of thoughts and feelings. Although the book is based on the journey of a loved one who has a terminal illness resulting in death, the book manages to be a positive reading experience. Helen puts a greater emphasis on celebrating rather than mourning, and focuses more on acceptance rather than anger and sadness.

Strengths & weaknesses:

As this book is written as a personal account of Helen’s journey through her mother’s illness, it allows and helps the reader to participate in the journey and gain a more meaningful insight into death, dying and the journey through loss. Although easy to read, there are several different ways that the reader can read the book. This allows for an individual read tailored to the reader’s needs and preferences. Helen has given a greater insight to the reader on how to handle terminal illness and the loss that comes with death.

Who should read it?

This book would appeal to a large audience. It would be useful for individuals who have experienced loss or who have a loved one who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It would also be beneficial for healthcare professionals wanting to get a deeper insight into the concept of dying, death and the journey through loss.

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