“This is a book of questions that will engage you in conversation with yourself and others. It does not have all the answers. It is about what to ask so that you may find the answers that are uniquely yours. You already have the answers to these questions inside of you.”
In the preface to her book, The Healing Hand: 5 Discussions to Have with the Dying Who Are Living, Sue Knight Deutsch prepares the reader for doing the unthinkable but unavoidable – having meaningful conversations with loved ones in the last stages of life. Rather than spoon feeding specific answers to people dealing with end-of-life situations, Cantor Deutsch gently encourages people to reach deeply inside of themselves to make the conversations mutually beneficial.
In some ways Cantor Deutsch feels that the book has been developing for her entire life – from a roller-coaster childhood to training as a psychiatric social worker, to becoming an invested cantor and to becoming the spiritual leader of Heritage Pointe where she counsels people on life-and-death issues – but it was not until she confronted the loss of her husband to cancer in mid-life that it began to take shape. Through her stories, vignettes and suggestions, she guides people through the challenge of the inevitable.
Since childhood, Cantor Deutsch has felt a direct connection to God, and she uses that energy to connect with other people. She begins the book with the hope that the reader will use that energy as well.
Using a five-finger model, Cantor Deutsch outlines the important conversations to have with loved ones in the end stage of life – thank you, forgive me, I forgive you, I love you and goodbye. She then discusses the issue of self-care after the death of a loved one.
“Whether you are a professional or someone who is supporting a loved one who is ill, this book has something to teach as well as provide comfort and guidance,” Cantor Deutsch said. “As such, it is not meant to be an academic tome – rather, something you can pick up, get some information from the narrative or pictures and perhaps read one page that will inspire you for this particular moment in time.”
In a wise but gentle way, with the voice of both tradition and experience, Cantor Deutsch guides us on a journey that everyone has to encounter. She does it with grace and eloquence, as well as the convincing words of someone who has been there.
Book Link: amzn.to/1x5EwDL