Death Without Denial, Grief Without Apology: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss

Death Without Denial, Grief Without Apology: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss

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When former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts' husband, State Senator Frank Roberts, was dying from lung cancer, she had to look inside of herself as well as beyond herself to find ways to survive what felt unbearable. What Barbara Roberts learned during the final year of her husband's life, and her subsequent years of grieving, fill the pages of this honest and inspiring new book.

At the time of Frank's cancer recurrence, Barbara was governor of Oregon, and Frank was an Oregon State Senator — both passionately committed to their work and to one another. They also strongly supported Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, which allowed physician-assisted death. The law had not yet passed, and their was lively debate throughout Oregon whether or not to permit this law. Together they had faced many challenges, but Frank's impending death would be their final, and perhaps their most trying and enriching journey. The Robertses turned to hospice for guidance and assistance once Frank decided to stop medical intervention.

This practical and compassionate guide looks at the personal as well as the societal issues surrounding death and grief. Written for both the individual facing death and for those who must grieve after a death, Roberts offers readers enthusiastic support to abandon the silence that too often accompanies impending death and those who must grieve. Chapter titles include "A Culture in Denial," "Hospice," and "Permission to be Weird."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780939165728
Publisher: NewSage Press
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Barbara K. Roberts is the former Oregon governor (1991-1995) and has been active in Oregon politics since the early 1970s. Over the years she has been involved with Oregon's hospice movement, and Oregon's right-to-die movement. In addition to this book, Roberts has also written her autobiography, Up the Capitol Steps: A Woman's March to the Governorship. Roberts lives in Portland, OR.

Ann Jackson was the director of the Oregon Hospice Association, retiring in 2008. She was also a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organizations' (NHPCO) National Quality Advisory Council. Currently, Jackson works as a consultant with individuals and families with end-of-life issues. Jackson lives in Portland, OR.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Foreword ix

Introduction: Reflections xiii

Chapter 1 A Culture in Denial 1

Chapter 2 The Many Faces of Death 9

Chapter 3 The Diagnosis and the Choices 15

Chapter 4 Planning Ahead for Death 25

Chapter 5 Hospice 33

Chapter 6 Caring and Caregiving 49

Chapter 7 Facing Death: The Misery and the Moment 55

Chapter 8 Saying Goodbye 63

Chapter 9 Permission to be Weird 75

Chapter 10 Grieving Into Healing 85

Chapter 11 The Long, Slow Climb Back 93

Chapter 12 America Faces Death: Change Comes to a Nation 99

Chapter 13 What We Can Talk About, We Can Make Better 107

Epilogue 119

About the Author 124

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Death Without Denial, Grief Without Apology: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
biunicorn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Death Without DenialGrief Without ApologyA Guide for Facing Death and Lossby Barbara K. RobertsThis subject is a touch one for most of us, and because it involves so much pain it is a subject that we have a hard time looking at. I found this 119 page testimonial of courage and compassion to be exactly the teacher I needed to face the buried pain I felt deep inside over the loss of my precious departed loved ones. Gentle and honest, the author shares with us poignant examples of grief in all it's many facets and gives truly tender and apt suggestions on how to get through one of the most intense stages of our lives. I especially liked that this messenger is not just for those left behind, but for those who are leaving as well. I would recommend this book to anyone, because death and loss are truly a fact of life for us all. Thank you Barbara, for a softer way to look at a gripping reality. Love & Light,Riki Frahmann
DoranneLongPTMS More than 1 year ago
This well-written book is my favorite to-date on death and dying, as it so closely parallels the death of my own dad. With patience, love, knowledge, and the assistance of others, including Hospice and other health care providers, death can be experienced, survived, with new life following.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a pinful book to read because it caused me to relive my husband and my experiences with his dying, but it also gave hope that with time comes easing of the pain. Through her own energy and commitment to figuring out a life on her own she allows the rest of us to see that it is possible to carry on, though your life partner has left you. As difficult as it was to read, I imagine it was even more difficult for her to write, but what a gift she gave us by doing so.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this moving, candid, and personal story, former Oregon governor Barbara Roberts talks about the year long process of losing her husband, and the much longer process of grieving after his death. The book begins in December, 1993 in the Governor's Mansion in Salem, OR, as a grieving Governor Roberts comes home at night to hug the urn with her husband's ashes, kiss his photograph, and tell him how her day went. Although Roberts acknowledges that some might find this kind of grieving 'not appropraite' 'weird' or 'crazy' , she empshasizes that whatever form of grieivng brings the most comfort to the suffering is the best kind. She also says of the greiving process 'it will take as long as it takes.' Four years after surviving prostate cancer, State Senator Frank Roberts was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in October, 1992. He and Barbara were both astonished when his doctor then suggested chemotherapy. The couple qucikly rejected the suggestion, and instead turned to Hospice. Throughout the book, Roberts praises Hospice and their outstanding care for her husband and support for his family. She describes how Hospice was there for them right up until Frank's death on Halloween 1993, three weeks after a stroke had taken away his ability to speak. For Roberts, as for others, the grieving process was a long and sometimes painful journey. The memories of her husband, triggered by anything from a sunset to his personal belongings, would bring back a flood of memories that caused sadness and lonliness. Gradually, though, the memories turned to feelings of warmth, as she could celebrate Frank's life and except his loss. Senator Frank Roberts was an early sponsor of the 'Death with Dignity Act' that Oregon voters voted into law a year after his death. Governor Roberts ends her book strongly defending the controverial law (that exists only in Oregon) and praising Oregon for being a leader in the use of Hospice care and pain management for the dying. Facing death is difficult for most of us. In this book, Barbara Roberts makes it much more acceptable.