|About the Book|
This book is a singular combination of personal memoir and self-help guide. The book is full of wisdom for the living no matter where we find ourselves on lifes journey-after all, we are all going to die some day. Despite its weighty subject matter,MoreThis book is a singular combination of personal memoir and self-help guide. The book is full of wisdom for the living no matter where we find ourselves on lifes journey-after all, we are all going to die some day. Despite its weighty subject matter, somehow, the book is always joyful and motivational page after page. While the memoir is compelling, not everyones frame of reference is the same, so some will resonate with the authors story more than others. That is not the case with the self-help components of the book that provides useful tools for transformation and personal growth-not only for patients and caregivers but anyone interested in personal growth. The author believes that people who forewarned about their death are given a great gift-an opportunity to polish the rough edges of life- make amends with friends and family- and take a closer look at their inner lives. The process of introspection may result-as it did for the author-in a better understanding of the purpose of life resulting in the construction of a life-context that brings greater meaning and peace to the end of life. The author focuses on what he calls the Five Realms of Life: Body, Mind, Heart, Spirit, and Setting. The following is a concise overview of the main sections of the book, including the five realms of life: Tools are provided in the Body chapter that empower a patient to participate as a member of the healing team rather than the object of a physicians ministrations. The Mind chapter helps the reader consider getting out of his or her own way to try out alternative personality styles, moving beyond psychological ruts to a more expansive way of interacting with people. The Heart chapter takes the reader on an inner journey to consider how to deal with the flood of new emotions that are part of any catastrophic diagnosis. The author does not fall into the trap of preaching to his reader. His ecumenical approach to what he calls Spirit includes organized religions, indigenous practices, and even secular and scientific explanations of lifes larger context. The Setting in which a patient lives, while waiting to die, must be safe, sustainable, and comfortable. Sometimes the patient needs outside help to make this happen. Most of all, this book is full of light and optimism. The author has walked his talk and demonstrates an almost preternatural ability to adapt to wave after wave of challenges. Even with these problems, he stays optimistic and loving in his approach to the world. He repeats the mantra throughout the book, pain is a normal part of life, it is inevitable- but suffering is optional and represents our descent into the role of victim. Mr. Flynn is far from a victim, he is a seer and pathfinder that inspires not only the ill, but each of us as we make our way through life.