The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

by Katy Butler

Hardcover

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Overview

An inspiring, informative, and practical guide to navigating end of life issues and experiencing a good death, by a groundbreaking expert in the field and the New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

In the mid-1400s, when the Black Death was still fresh in cultural memory, an unnamed Catholic monk composed a popular self-help book called Ars Moriendi, or The Art of Dying. Written in Latin and illustrated with woodcuts, this medieval death manual taught people how to navigate the trials of the deathbed, using simple rituals of repentance, reassurance, and letting go. By 1500, the Art of Dying had gone through sixty-five editions and had been translated into all the major languages of Europe.

Bestselling author and award-winning journalist Katy Butler argues that we have lost touch with the “art of dying” as practiced by our ancestors for hundreds of years. Living in secular, urban societies, we still hunger for rites of passage, and a sense of the sacred, especially in the important life transitions of aging and dying. Butler has done grand rounds in several hospitals, lectured at medical schools, and spoken with community and caregiving organizations across the country. Here she reveals what she has learned about dying in America today—and the steps to improve your chances of a good death.

We are coping with a medical system in disarray, in its approach to people who are aging, dying, or chronically ill. Butler argues that not only does our current system poorly serve our medical needs, it also crowds out any sense of the sacred. It’s time to restore that sense of ​honor​, and through exploring the stages of later life, sharing “good death” stories, as well as offering practical takeaways, The Art of Aging and Dying Well illuminates a better path for the end of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501135316
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 20,218
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Katy Butler’s articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Best American Science Writing, and The Best American Essays. A finalist for a National Magazine Award, she lives in Northern California. She is the author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door and The Art of Dying Well.

Read an Excerpt

The Art of Dying Well

—CHAPTER 1—
The Wake-Up Call • Building Reserves • Finding Allies in Preventive Medicine • Weighing Medical Risks • Getting to Know the Neighbors • Knowing Your Medical Rights • Caring for the Soul

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