Awake at the Bedside
Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End-of-Life Care
Edited by Koshin Paley Ellison and Matt Weingast
Wisdom 2016; 300 pp., $19.95 (paper)
End-of-life care raises questions with no easy answers: How do we think about the dying? About death itself? What is the current state of palliative and end-of-life health care, and how can we improve it? How do we care for the dying without becoming emotionally and spiritually depleted ourselves? In Awake at the Bedside, authors Ellison (cofounder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care) and Weingast (who works at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies) have created a book not about dying but about life, and what living has to teach us. Leaders in the field offer wisdom for those who spend day and night bedside, with personal accounts from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Cicely Saunders, and Derek Walcott, and instructions from doctors, dharma teachers, chaplains, poets, and caregivers.