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Death, Grief, Bereavement

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  1. 3.0 hrs • 6/7/2016 • Unabridged

    Extraordinary stories of people who have survived life’s most heart-wrenching tragedies and whose Christian faith has remained unshakable. New York Times bestselling author Jeff Benedict has seen both good and bad in his career as a journalist. Some of the best are the extraordinary people he has met who have made deliberate choices to live happier lives despite the extreme hardship that each of them have faced. Although life will knock us down from time to time, this book is an important reminder that we all can make a choice to get back up, brush ourselves off, and keep pressing forward. “Each of us will find ourselves at the intersection of happiness and despair. And when that day comes, there are choices we can make that will help us turn and walk down the street called Happiness,” says the author. From choosing to forgive to choosing to serve others to choosing to pray, the seven true stories that Jeff shares illustrate the power within each of us to choose to live a happier, more abundant life. Stories include a husband who lost his wife when a young boy inadvertently pulled the trigger of a loaded shotgun;a waitress who nearly drowned after being swept away in a raging flood;a father who lost his one-year-old son to a rare disease;a woman lost at sea during a harrowing storm;a man who was brutally beaten but who chose to forgive his attacker;a mother whose home was demolished by a tornado, whose husband was diagnosed with cancer, and whose nine-year-old son has undergone nearly one hundred surgeries; anda father trying to raise his family in a neighborhood often targeted by gang members.

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    Make a Choice by Jeff Benedict

    Make a Choice

    3.0 hrs • 6/7/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 6.1 hrs • 2/2/2016 • Unabridged

    In a deeply personal and moving book, the beloved NPR radio host speaks out about the long drawn-out death of her husband of fifty-four years from Parkinson’s and of her struggle to reconstruct her life without him. With John gone, Diane was indeed “on her own,” coping with the inevitable practical issues and, more important, with the profoundly emotional ones. What to do, how to react, reaching out again into the world—struggling to create a new reality for herself while clinging to memories of the past. Her focus is on her own roller coaster experiences, but she has also solicited the moving stories of such recently widowed friends as Roger Mudd and Susan Stamberg, which work to expose the listener to a remarkable range of reactions to the death of a spouse. John’s unnecessarily extended death—he begged to be helped to die—culminated in his taking matters into his own hands, simply refusing to take water, food, and medication. His heroic actions spurred Diane into becoming a kind of poster person for the “right to die” movement that is slowly taking shape in the United States. With the brave determination that has characterized her whole life, she is finding a meaningful new way to contribute to the world. Her book—as practical as it is inspiring—will be a help and a comfort to the recently bereaved, and a beacon of hope about the possibilities that remain to us as we deal with our own approaching mortality.

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    On My Own

    Read by Diane Rehm
    6.1 hrs • 2/2/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.3 hrs • 11/3/2015 • Unabridged

    An inspiring, accessible, and empowering guide for how to navigate the unique stresses and challenges of widowhood and create a hopeful future When Kristin Meekhof lost her husband to cancer, she discovered what all widows learn: the moment you lose your partner, you must make crucial decisions that will impact the rest of your life. But where do you begin? This inspiring audiobook shows grieving widows what to expect and how to deal with the challenges of losing a life partner. From immediate issues like finances, estates, and medical bills to long-term hurdles such as single parenthood, being a widow in the workplace, and navigating social situations by yourself, this audiobook guides widows through the tumultuous and painful first five years to a more hopeful future.

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    A Widow's Guide to Healing

    8.3 hrs • 11/3/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 8.0 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    The astonishing story of one man’s recovery in the face of traumatic loss—and a powerful meditation on the resilience of the soul On July 23, 2007, Dr. William Petit suffered an unimaginable horror: armed strangers broke into his suburban Connecticut home in the middle of the night, bludgeoned him nearly to death, tortured and killed his wife and two daughters, and set their house on fire. He miraculously survived, and yet living through those horrific hours was only the beginning of his ordeal. Broken and defeated, Bill was forced to confront a question of ultimate consequence: How does a person find the strength to start over and live again after confronting the darkest of nightmares? In The Rising, acclaimed journalist Ryan D’Agostino takes us into Bill Petit’s world, using unprecedented access to Bill and his family and friends to craft a startling, inspiring portrait of human strength and endurance. To understand what produces a man capable of surviving the worst, D’Agostino digs deep into Bill’s all-American upbringing, and in the process tells a remarkable story of not just a man’s life, but of a community’s power to shape that life through its embrace of loyalty and self-sacrifice as its most important values. Following Bill through the hardest days—through the desperate times in the aftermath of the attack and the harrowing trials of the two men responsible for it—The Rising offers hope that we can find a way back to ourselves, even when all seems lost. Today, Bill Petit has remarried. He and his wife have an infant son. The very existence of this new family defies rational expectation, and yet it confirms our persistent, if oft unspoken, belief that we are greater than what befalls us, and that the wells we draw on in trying times can sate almost bottomless need. Bill’s story, told as never before in The Rising, is by turns compelling and uplifting, an affirmation of the inexhaustible power of the human spirit.

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    The Rising

    8.0 hrs • 9/15/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 7.6 hrs • 6/2/2015 • Unabridged

    For those who have lost a loved one to that liar and fraud named Death. So reads the dedication of William Peter Blatty’s Finding Peter, a deeply moving memoir that tests the bounds of grief, love, and the soul. Blatty, the bestselling author and Oscar Award–winning screenwriter of The Exorcist, lived a charmed life among the elite stars of Hollywood. His son Peter, born over a decade after The Exorcist, grew from an apple-cheeked boy into an “imposing young man with a quick, warm smile.” But when Peter died very suddenly from a rare disorder, Blatty’s world turned upside down. As he and his wife struggled through their unrelenting grief, a series of strange and supernatural events began occurring—and Blatty became convinced that Peter was sending messages from the afterlife. A true and unabashedly personal story, Finding Peter will shake the most cynical of readers—and it will remind those in grief that our loved ones do truly live on.

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    Finding Peter

    7.6 hrs • 6/2/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 6.5 hrs • 5/13/2015 • Unabridged

    In You’re Going to Be Okay, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Holley Gerth offers listeners the warmth of a caring friend as well as the wisdom of a licensed counselor and certified life coach. Through positive encouragement and practical insights, she’ll show you how it really is possible to live with resilience, strength, and even joy, no matter what life brings. Yes, there will be hurt and hard times, but God wants to help you find ways to survive, grow stronger, and even thrive—no matter what happens. You really are going to be okay.

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    You're Going to Be Okay

    6.5 hrs • 5/13/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 8.3 hrs • 5/12/2015 • Unabridged

    A transformative, fascinating new theory that reveals how our unconscious fear of death powers almost everything we do, shining a light on the hidden motivations of human behavior. More than one hundred years ago, the American philosopher William James wrote that the knowledge that we must die is “the worm at the core” of the human condition—a universally shared fear that informs all our thoughts and actions, from the great art we create to the devastating wars we wage. Using data collected from human subjects, Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski show conclusively that the fear of death and the desire to transcend it inspire us to buy expensive cars, crave fame, put our health at risk, and disguise our animal nature. The fear of death can also prompt judges to dole out harsher punishments, make children react negatively to people different from themselves, and inflame intolerance and violence. But the worm at the core need not consume us. This book also reveals how human beings have come to terms with death and learned to lead lives of courage, creativity, and compassion. It infuses our lives with order, stability, significance, and purpose, and these anchors enable us to function moment to moment without becoming overwhelmed by the knowledge of our ultimate fate.

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    The Worm at the Core

    8.3 hrs • 5/12/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 3.3 hrs • 11/4/2014 • Abridged

    Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, is the woman who has transformed the way the world thinks about death and dying. Beginning with the groundbreaking publication of the classic psychological study On Death and Dying and continuing through her many books and her years working with terminally ill children, AIDS patients, and the elderly, Kübler-Ross has brought comfort and understanding to millions coping with their own deaths or the deaths of loved ones. Now, at age seventy-one facing her own death, this world-renowned healer tells the story of her extraordinary life. Having taught the world how to die well, she now offers a lesson on how to live well. Her story is an adventure of the heart—powerful, controversial, inspirational—a fitting legacy of a powerful life.

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    The Wheel of Life

    3.3 hrs • 11/4/14 • Abridged
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  9. 1.9 hrs • 5/13/2014 • Unabridged

    Written after his wife’s tragic death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moment,” A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: “Nothing will shake a man—or at any rate a man like me—out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.” This is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.

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    A Grief Observed

    1.9 hrs • 5/13/14 • Unabridged
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  10. 10.5 hrs • 9/10/2013 • Unabridged

    Like so many of us, award-winning writer Katy Butler always assumed her aging parents would experience healthy, active retirements before dying peacefully at home. Then her father suffered a stroke that left him incapable of easily finishing a sentence or showering without assistance. Her mother was thrust into full-time care-giving, and Katy became one of the twenty-four million Americans who help care for aging parents. In an effort to correct a minor and non-life threatening heart arrhythmia, doctors outfitted her father with a pacemaker. The device kept his heart beating but did nothing to prevent his slide into dementia, incontinence, near-muteness, and misery. After several years, he asked his wife for help, telling her, “I am living too long.” Mother and daughter faced a series of wrenching moral questions: When does death cease being a curse and become a blessing? Where is the line between saving life and prolonging a dying? When is the right time to say to a doctor, “Let my loved one go”? When doctors refused to disable the pacemaker, sentencing her father to a protracted and agonizing death, Katy set out to understand why. Her quest had barely begun when her mother faced her own illness, rebelled against her doctors, refused open-heart surgery, and instead met death head-on. Knocking on Heaven’s Door, a revolutionary blend of memoir and investigative reporting, is the fruit of the Butler family’s journey. With a reporter’s skill, a poet’s eye, and a daughter’s love, Butler explores what happens when our terror of death collides with the technological imperatives of modern medicine. Her provocative thesis is that advanced medicine, in its single-minded pursuit of maximum longevity, often creates more suffering than it prevents. Butler lays bare the tangled web of technology, medicine, and commerce that modern dying has become and chronicles the rise of “slow medicine,” a growing movement that promotes care over cure.

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    Knocking on Heaven’s Door

    10.5 hrs • 9/10/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.8 hrs • 4/9/2013 • Unabridged

    The Little Way of Ruthie Leming follows Rod Dreher, a Philadelphia journalist, back to his hometown of St. Francisville, Louisiana in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie’s death. When she was diagnosed at age 40 with a virulent form of cancer in 2010, Dreher was moved by the way the community he had left behind rallied around his dying sister, a schoolteacher. He was also struck by the grace and courage with which his sister dealt with the disease that eventually took her life. In Louisiana for Ruthie’s funeral in the fall of 2011, Dreher began to wonder whether the ordinary life Ruthie led in their country town was in fact a path of hidden grandeur, even spiritual greatness, concealed within the modest life of a mother and teacher. In order to explore this revelation, Dreher and his wife decided to leave Philadelphia, move home to help with family responsibilities and have their three children grow up amidst the rituals that had defined his family for five generations: Mardi Gras, LSU football games, and deer hunting.

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    The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

    8.8 hrs • 4/9/13 • Unabridged
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  12. 4.4 hrs • 4/1/2013 • Unabridged

    Trudy Harris began her career with Hospice in 1981, eventually becoming the president of the Hospice Foundation for Caring. This collection of more than forty true stories of Harris’ patients offers readers an incredible glimpse at what lies beyond and what the living can learn from the dying. Her patients have described to her visions of angels and loved ones who have gone on before, the sounds of ethereal music, colors that did not exist on earth. She has been with hundreds of patients as they took their last breaths and knows the kinds of questions that both the dying and the loved ones they are leaving behind ask. • What do you say to a loved one who is dying? • What happens when we die? • How can you make a dying friend feel safe? • Does a dying person really see angels, hear music, or see friends and family members who have already died? Tender, heartbreaking, and eye-opening, Glimpses of Heaven offers a window into the world beyond and life after death.

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    Glimpses of Heaven

    4.4 hrs • 4/1/13 • Unabridged
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  13. 5.8 hrs • 3/5/2013 • Unabridged

    In this heartrending memoir about faith and family, a conservative spokesman writes candidly of his beloved son and how even when you follow all the “rules,” life can go very wrong. Family values guru Dennis Mansfield and his wife Susan planned for and expected every parent’s dream when their son Nate was born. Instead, they lived every parent’s nightmare. A leader in the evangelical public policy arena, Dennis Mansfield was a candidate for US Congress in 2000 when he learned of his oldest son’s drug use. Though Dennis and Susan turned their attention to helping drug addicts and their families, they were powerless to stop the death of their own son in 2009 at the age of 27. Beautiful Nate lucidly recounts these difficult years while painting a picture of what did and did not work in raising a child within the evangelical framework. Rather than lose faith in the God he trusted, Dennis eventually found new joy and purpose—with a much more compassionate and realistic view of the role parents play and the guidelines they follow. As readers travel with Dennis on his journey of discovery, they will find a more nuanced view of parenting—and gain invaluable insights into dealing with their own life trials.

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    Beautiful Nate

    5.8 hrs • 3/5/13 • Unabridged
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  14. 4.4 hrs • 1/1/2013 • Unabridged

    Griefland. It’s a place no one wants to visit—a place without borders where language is inadequate and pain is constant. It’s a place where every morning, one awakens to the stark reality that a loved one will never be seen, heard—or embraced—again. This is a place that Armen Bacon and Nancy Miller know all too well, for both of them, when they met, had lost a child to drug addiction. Both of them had also enjoyed a comfortable, middle-class life—until it was rocked by the sudden death of a son Alex, and a daughter, Rachel.  Griefland provides an intimate portrait of what tragedy does to the human soul, how it changes one’s life, and most important, how it can be survived. With achingly beautiful language, this book explores the acute moment-to-moment experience of grief. But it also transcends that and speaks to the redemptive power of friendship, trust, intimacy, and love. Together they discover a will and desire to move forward, recognizing that life is the ultimate prize for those who survive this excruciating journey.

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    Griefland by Armen Bacon, Nancy Miller

    Griefland

    4.4 hrs • 1/1/13 • Unabridged
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  15. 1 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5 (1)
    9.6 hrs • 10/2/2012 • Unabridged

    “What are you reading?” That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less. This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying. Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other, and rediscover their lives, through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.

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    The End of Your Life Book Club

    9.6 hrs • 10/2/12 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5 (1)
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  16. 6.3 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    In twelve months between 2007 and 2008, Christopher Buckley coped with the passing of his father, William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, and his mother, Patricia Taylor Buckley, one of New York’s most glamorous and colorful socialites. He was their only child, and their relationship was close and complicated. As Buckley tells the story of their final year together, he takes listeners on a surprisingly entertaining tour through hospitals, funeral homes, and memorial services, capturing the heartbreaking and disorienting feeling of becoming a fifty-five-year-old orphan. Just as Calvin Trillin and Joan Didion gave solace and insight into the experience of losing a spouse, Christopher Buckley offers consolation, wit, and warmth to those coping with the death of a parent, while telling a unique personal story of life with legends.

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    Losing Mum and Pup

    6.3 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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