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Death, Grief, Bereavement

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  1. 8.8 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    A late-in-life coming-of-age escapade told with humor and heart, Don’t Think Twice is a moving and irreverent account of grief, growing up, and the healing power of adventure.Within six months, Barbara Schoichet lost everything: her job, her girlfriend of six years, and her mother to pancreatic cancer. Her life stripped bare, and armed with nothing but a death wish and a ton of attitude, Barbara pursues an unlikely method of coping. At the age of fifty she earns her motorcycle license, buys a Harley on eBay from two guys named Dave, and drives it alone from New York to Los Angeles on a circuitous trek loosely guided by her H.O.G. tour book and a whole lot of road whimsy. On the open highway—where she daily takes her speed to a hundred—Barbara battles physical limitations and inner demons on a journey that flows through the majestic Appalachian Mountains, the enchanting Turquoise Trail, and all along America’s iconic Route 66. She is awed by the battlefields in Gettysburg, stunned by the decadence of Graceland, and amused by a Cadillac graveyard in the middle of nowhere. She meets kind strangers, odd strangers, and a guy who pulls a gun on her for cutting him off. She is vulnerable but sassy, broken but determined to heal . . . or die trying.

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    Don't Think Twice

    8.8 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 11.4 hrs • 2/16/2016 • Unabridged

    A painful event in American history, the infamous tragedy of the Columbine school shooting and its aftermath—told from the perspective of Sue Klebold, the shooter’s mother. On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives. For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently? These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts. Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent

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    A Mother’s Reckoning

    Introduction written and read by Andrew Solomon
    Read by Sue Klebold
    11.4 hrs • 2/16/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 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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  4. 8.9 hrs • 7/14/2015 • Unabridged

    Kate Braestrup’s life was transformed by the loss of her husband; now Kate faces the possibility that she may lose her son. As a young mother Kate Braestrup discovered the fierce protectiveness that accompanies parenthood. In the intervening years—through mourning her husband and the joy of remarriage and a blended family—Kate has absorbed the rewards and complications of that spirit.  But when her eldest son joins the Marines, Kate is at a crossroads: can she reconcile her desire to protect her children with her family’s legacy of service? Can parents balance the joy of a child’s independence with the fear of letting go?  As Kate examines the twinned emotions of faith and fear—inspired by the families she meets as a chaplain and by her son’s journey towards purpose and familyhood—she learns that the threats we can’t predict will rip us apart and knit us together.

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    Anchor and Flares

    8.9 hrs • 7/14/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 7.9 hrs • 4/28/2015 • Unabridged

    An unbelievably believable story about the afterlife from the former publisher of a major metropolitan newspaper. In 2004 Janis Heaphy Durham’s husband, Max Besler, died of cancer at age fifty-six. The daughter of a Presbyterian minister, she practiced her faith as she struggled with her loss. Soon she began encountering phenomena unlike anything she’d ever experienced: lights flickering, doors opening and closing, and clocks stopping at 12:44—the exact time of Max’s death. But then something startling happened that changed Heaphy Durham’s life forever. A powdery handprint appeared on her bathroom mirror on the first anniversary of Max’s death. This launched Heaphy Durham on a journey that transformed her spiritually and altered her view of reality forever. She interviewed scientists and spiritual practitioners along the way as she discovered that the veil between this world and the next is thin and it’s love that bridges the two worlds.

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    The Hand on the Mirror

    7.9 hrs • 4/28/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.5 hrs • 4/28/2015 • Unabridged

    Louise Troh—fiancee of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first man ever to die of Ebola in America—breaks her silence about her experience. This deeply moving memoir chronicles the decade-long love story that starts in Liberia and ends in an isolation ward in Dallas, Texas. With the assistance of New York Times bestselling author Christine Wicker, Louise Troh shares with the world a memoir of heartbreaking resonance.

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    My Spirit Took You In

    8.5 hrs • 4/28/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 5.9 hrs • 3/31/2015 • Unabridged

    Thirty years after her death, Alice Eve Cohen’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year Alice has had to face: the year her youngest daughter needs a harrowing surgery, her eldest daughter decides to reunite with her birth mother, and Alice herself receives a daunting diagnosis. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most. Although letting her mother back into her life is not an easy thing, Alice approaches it with humor, intelligence, and honesty. What she learns is that she must revisit her childhood and allow herself to be a daughter once more in order to take care of her own girls. Understanding and forgiving her mother’s parenting transgressions leads her to accept her own and to realize that she doesn’t have to be perfect to be a good mother.

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    The Year My Mother Came Back

    5.9 hrs • 3/31/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    6.7 hrs • 2/24/2015 • Unabridged

    In his long career, eminent psychotherapist and author Irvin Yalom has pressed his patients and readers to grapple with life’s two greatest challenges: that we all must die, and that each of us is responsible for leading a life worth living. In Creatures of a Day, he and his patients confront the difficulty of these challenges. Although these people have come to Yalom seeking relief, recognition, or meaning, they discover that such things are rarely found in the places where we think to look. Like Love’s Executioner and Yalom’s other writings, Creatures of a Day lays bare the necessary task we each face every day: to make our own lives meaningful.

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    Creatures of a Day, and Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom, MD

    Creatures of a Day, and Other Tales of Psychotherapy

    6.7 hrs • 2/24/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 11.8 hrs • 1/27/2015 • Unabridged

    From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart comes an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together. The summer he turns fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close-knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters. Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons. Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her close friend Bella but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella—and force her to confront her past and her friends. After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong. Spanning over a decade and told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.

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    The Grown Ups

    11.8 hrs • 1/27/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 5.4 hrs • 11/4/2014 • Unabridged

    For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Greg Kincaid comes The 13th Gift, a heartwarming Christmas story about how a random act of kindness transformed one of the bleakest moments in a family’s history into a time of strength and love. After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children—especially with the holiday season approaching. But twelve days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their “True Friends.” As the Smiths come together to solve the mystery of who the gifts are from, they begin to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.

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    The 13th Gift

    5.4 hrs • 11/4/14 • Unabridged
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  11. 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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  12. 2.7 hrs • 10/15/2014 • Audio Theater

    Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play, Tracy Letts’ darkly comic epic offers a painfully funny look at a family struggling in the desolate heart of America. This is an L.A. Theatre Works full-cast recording, featuring members of the original Steppenwolf Theatre and Broadway productions: Tara Lynne Barr, Shannon Cochran, Deanna Dunagan (Tony Award, Best Leading Actress), Kimberly Guerrero, Francis Guinan, Scott Jaeck, Ron Livingston, Robert Maffia, Mariann Mayberry, Rondi Reed (Tony Award, Best Featured Actress), and David Warshofsky. August: Osage County was directed by Bart DeLorenzo and recorded by L.A. Theatre Works before a live audience.

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    August: Osage County

    Performed by a full cast
    2.7 hrs • 10/15/14 • Audio Theater
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  13. 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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  14. 7.6 hrs • 4/15/2014 • Unabridged

    Tracing the four days from the moment she gets the call that every immigrant fears to the burial of her mother, Elizabeth Nunez tells the haunting story of her lifelong struggle to cope with the consequences of the “sterner stuff” of her parents’ ambitions for their children and her mother’s seemingly unbreakable conviction that displays of affection are not for everyday use. But Nunez sympathizes with her parents, whose happiness is constrained by the oppressive strictures of colonialism, by the Catholic Church’s prohibition of artificial birth control (which her mother obeys, terrified by the threat of eternal damnation), and by what Malcolm Gladwell refers to as the “privilege of skin color” in his mother’s Caribbean island homeland where “the brown-skinned classes…came to fetishize their lightness.”

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    Not for Everyday Use

    7.6 hrs • 4/15/14 • Unabridged
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  15. 12.3 hrs • 3/4/2014 • Unabridged

    A deeply personal, revealing, and lyrical portrait of Duane Allman, founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, written by his daughter. Galadrielle Allman went to her first concert as an infant in diapers, held in her teenage mother’s arms. Playing was her father—Duane Allman, who would become one of the most influential and sought-after musicians of his time. Just a few short years into his remarkable career, he was killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of twenty-four. His daughter was two-years-old. Galadrielle was raised in the shadow of his loss and his fame. Her mother sought solace in a bohemian life. Friends and family found it too painful to talk about Duane. Galadrielle listened intently to his music, read articles about him, steeped herself in the mythic stories, and yet the spotlight rendered him too simple and too perfect to know. She felt a strange kinship to the fans who longed for him, but she needed to know more. It took her many years to accept that his life and his legacy were hers, and when she did, she began to ask for stories—from family, fellow musicians, friends—and they began to flow. Galadrielle Allman’s memoir is at once a rapturous, riveting, and intimate account of one of the greatest guitar prodigies of all time, the story of the birth of a band that redefined the American musical landscape, and a tender inquiry of a daughter searching for her father in the memories of others.

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    Please Be with Me

    12.3 hrs • 3/4/14 • Unabridged
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  16. 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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