Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review: What Really Matters; 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying

A "perfect storm" is brewing for 79 million members of the baby boom generation, according to Colorado physician Karen Wyatt. With advancing age, these individuals must cope with the passing of their parents while also confronting the inevitability of their own death.
"What Really Matters; 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying" by Karen M. Wyatt, M.D., is a collection of stories about dying patients and their insights on living and dying.

About The Author
Karen M. Wyatt is a family physician who has spent her 25 year medical career working with patients in challenging settings, such as hospices, nursing homes and indigent clinics. She has founded a free medical clinic in a homeless shelter, accompanied three medical mission teams to Honduras, and led a non-profit clinic for the uninsured in its growth from a 4-hour per week all-volunteer operation to a full-time, full-service medical center.

7 Lessons For Living
This book was written by a physician who has spent many years caring for hospice patients. She wrote this book to share the life lessons that she learned from her patients. The lessons are based on seven statements that Jesus Christ uttered on the cross;
  • The meaning of Suffering "I thirst."
  • Love and recognizing life's priorities "Woman behold your son; behold your mother."
  • Forgiveness and letting go of limiting beliefs and past traumas "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing."
  • Paradise "Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise."
  • The true Purpose of existence "My God, my God for this I was kept (this was the destiny for which I was born.)"
  • Surrender and the key to unlocking the flow of grace "O my Father, into thy hands I commit my Spirit."
  • Impermanence and transcending fear "It is fulfilled."
This book uses verses from the Bible but it's spiritual focus is not limited to any particular religious belief. The book has a strong message for readers of any faith or philosophy.

The chapters in this book include case studies of specific patients that Dr. Wyatt has worked with in the past. These stories illustrate how patients and their family members can experience profound spiritual growth during the final days of life.

My Thoughts
I read this book because of the experiences that my family had with hospice care when my father suffered from congestive heart failure and passed away in October, 2010.

I found the case studies and the teachings in this book to be very poignant and touching. I found myself in tears many times as I read this book.

I think one of the hardest lessons to learn is that we will all die and that death is not to be feared. We must stop denying death and focus on living lives that really matter. The final chapter in this book provides ideas for implementing the "7 Lessons" in daily life. I think you will find much food for thought in this book. This book will inspire and motivate you to make some changes in your life.
Highly Recommended!

My Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5

FYI ~ I received a paperback copy of this book to read and review from the author's publicist. Thank you!

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