Saying Goodbye: My Spiritual Journey through Death and Dying dares to face the basic reality that so much of modern culture strains itself to deny: everyone who lives will die. The hope and the encouragement come, not in pretending that death will not happen, but in shaping the way in which one says “goodbye” to friends and family.
Jean C. West, who sat with her husband and her siblings as they died, draws upon both her experiences and her research to present a guide to assist all who find themselves in the position making or witnessing end-of-life goodbyes. Her advice covers the circumstances of those who are dying and of others who accompany loved ones in their dying.
Saying Goodbye describes the common landmarks one encounters in a journey through death and dying. It presents special guidance for circumstances in which children are dying. It talks through the sorts of plans one can make in advance of death. It consoles and supports individuals during the time after a loved one’s death.
Saying Goodbye: My Spiritual Journey through Death and Dying recognizes that while each person’s circumstances and perspective are unique, the common elements of death and dying can provide the foundation for saying “goodbye” and for journeying through times of human mortality.
While proper communication is integral, how to respond to different scenarios is also key. Her book touches on a wide variety of situations involving death to help families cope. Some of these topics include the death of a child, how to get closure and preparation for a funeral.
West said all of these communication tactics and examples are integral because they all add up to learn how to properly say goodbye before it is too late.
“This book is intended to help the dying and those left behind to understand what to expect and how to deal with it,” West said.
About The Author:
Jean C. West is a retired dental hygienist and former hospice volunteer. She taught dental hygiene at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. West lives in Savannah, Ga., with her husband.
Jean C. West has accompanied her husband and siblings as they made their journeys to death. As a hospice volunteer, she serves individuals and loved ones as they face dying. Her deep faith and extensive research undergird the message she shares with others making their farewells to family and friends.