In this weekend’s Review section of the Wall Street Journal, Katy Butler delivers an excerpt from her new book “The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life” in which her shares the findings of the three years she spent “interviewing hundreds of people who have witnessed good deaths and hard ones” and “consulting top experts in end-of-life medicine.” The directives she outlines provide evidence that considering your own death (and especially before you are in the position where you “have to”) is a powerful exercise, demonstrating that “those who contemplate their aging, vulnerability and mortality often live better lives and experience better deaths than those who don’t.”
• Have a vision
• Stay in charge
• Know the trajectory of your illness
• Find your tribe and arrange caregivers
• Take command of the space
• Think of death as a rite of passage
“Don’t reduce the end of your life to a medical procedure or strip it of ceremony and humanity. Make sure you live and die as a full human being.” We couldn’t agree more, Katy, and can’t wait to read your book.