‘Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend or a meaningful day.’
THE DALAI LAMA
Living Life Whilst Facing Death
Through my own personal experience of caring for and being with relatives towards the end of their life, and through working with patients and carers as a volunteer befriender, I’ve noticed that each experience has been unique. However, there are common themes that seem to reoccur. I’ve brought these together in ‘Moments of Meaning’ as a way of hopefully giving some insight into living with life-limiting illness and moving towards end of life for both patients and carers – as a resource to help each make the most of life. My aim is to help individuals understand some of the issues involved in end of life care so they can navigate their own unique path through this experience. With knowledge of the process and some of the available options, along with an understanding of ourselves and our values as individuals, we can each find our own unique way through this process, hopefully making the most of the time we have together. As we are all unique, our way of approaching end of life is also unique, either as the person who’s dying or as a relative caring for someone who’s coming to the end of their life.
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Moments of Meaning ~ Book Reviews
‘As I started reading “Moments of Meaning” I felt welcomed into a safe, personal world dealing with the challenges of end of life care and experiences. I was gripped, and had to carry on reading, absorbing all the wisdom and support that Jill gives. Reading made it OK for me to explore my own story within a non-judgemental arena. I had recently suffered a number of close bereavements and could relate entirely to the highs and lows of the challenges described. Jill’s words offered me new resources, and insights into my own experiences and made me feel comfortable with my own unique ‘moments’. This book makes for a brilliant companion for anyone experiencing the end of life journey. It offers a safe haven in a storm and inspires the creation of hope and positivity.’
Helen Ranson | Author of ‘Surviving Me’: www.survivingme.org
‘Moments of meaning is amazing, very moving, powerful and inspiring whilst also offering very welcome practical guidance, information and support. Jill invites us, the reader, into her own experience as you would a close friend, sharing precious magical moments as well as the difficulties and challenges – I found myself bringing my own experiences to mind as though we were in a conversation. Mapping the hidden territory of end of life care is illuminating: our feelings, spirituality, practicalities, choices, your loved one’s wishes and above all love and compassion (for ourselves as well as our loved one). What extraordinary gifts lie within this short book.’
Geraldine Sheehy | GSA Change Consultancy Ltd | Worked with leaders and practitioners in the NHS to develop and enhance end of life care
‘Death and the journey at the end of life are still relatively taboo subjects, even though much of the time we are surrounded by the reality of them. Jill has done a wonderful job of showing us the richness that can lie within these experiences, when we open ourselves to them. She has done a wonderful job of mapping out the territory and showing what practical and emotional support is available at some of life’s most difficult times and how there can be blessings we never saw coming.’
Nick Williams | Best-selling author of 14 books including ‘The Work We Were Born To Do’
‘Moments of Meaning’ is a courageous book, not only for those informal and formal carers currently experiencing the challenges which end of life care presents, but for those who have dealt with these challenges in the past. Jill’s personal experience and volunteering activities qualify her to write this insightful book. Written from Jill’s own perspective, she backs up her suggestions with useful references and I liked her informal style. The chapters illustrate her own journey of loss sharing moments with relatives and friends at the end of their lives. Jill offers useful information and guidance without being prescriptive and is sensitive to the fact that people are ‘unique’, in the way they experience the events and actions she describes. Throughout the book, there are examples of good practice and some touching moments as Jill reminds us how important communication is between individuals within families, and between family members and professionals.