The ladies in my book club are amazing..I have never met such dedicated, voracious readers! Meanwhile, yours truly here is an absolute procrastinating sloth. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I will save an entire book until the last few days before we meet, literally finishing it off mere minutes before I jump into my car. It’s so stressful..why do I do that to myself??
Anyway, I still “love the club” because (trust me) If I weren’t part of it, I wouldn’t be reading all of these wonderful books. Our latest selection was “Being Mortal” by Dr. Atul Gawande. This book should be required reading for everybody with aging parents, but it is also important to remind ourselves to prepare for, or at least think about, our own goals, concerns and desires for when old age and illness come..and come they will.
The stories Dr. Gawande shares are poignant, sobering and clearly demonstrate how important it is to “pre-establish” and communicate our own personal philosphies regarding the end of life season and the many choices made during that time. He takes this topic way beyond the living will and makes the individual reader think deeply about what they feel makes life worth living. We live in an era where modern medicine can keep very sick people alive long after there is any quality of life remaining. This book takes us to that intersection and has us examine the choices available from every angle.
Being Mortal is well written and easy to read considering the topic is pretty depressing, but Gawande believes the greatest gift we can give to those who love us is to take the time to not only carefully consider these thorny issues, but to let family clearly know what our opinions and wishes are so they aren’t stuck in the awful position of making assumptions on our behalf.