Living with the End in Mind takes a life-affirming look at preparing yourself and your loved ones for the inevitable–whether you are in perfect health or are ill–so you can live life to its fullest. The inspiring couple who have coauthored this book have already garnered widespread media coverage, from 20/20 to The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Erin Kramp, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness four years ago, her husband, Doug, and their friend Emily McKhann have written a groundbreaking checklist that takes an uplifting and thought-provoking approach to addressing the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of mortality. They share practical advice on how to create a legacy for your loved ones with tapes, photo albums, journals, and letters; how to make funeral arrangements; how to talk about death with your children; how to incorporate prayer, meditation, and purpose into your life; and much more.When Erin Tierney Kramp learned that she had a potentially fatal case of cancer, she was 32 years old and woefully unprepared for death. In Living with the End in Mind, Kramp and her coauthors chronicle her efforts to come to terms with her illness and suggest many practical steps people can take to prepare for their deaths. Kramp writes that taking care of all “the little ‘what ifs’ associated with the possibility of dying” decreased her stress level and allowed her to concentrate on the things that really mattered to her. Terminal illness forced the author to reevaluate her life and she hopes that this book will prompt her readers to do the same:
Five years ago, if anyone had asked me if I expected to live, I would have thought the question silly. Of course I expected to live, what was the alternative? Now I am well aware of the alternative. The question for all of us is, what are we doing between now and when we die?
This guide should be quite useful to a wide variety of people, even those who don’t feel the least bit ill. The authors tackle this difficult subject in a matter-of-fact way, which makes it easier to take. Kramp urges her readers to organize their papers, mend their fences, buy a cemetery plot, and make the most of their time left on Earth. She includes tips on helping children deal with the loss of a parent, and discusses the importance of leaving a legacy of letters and pictures to comfort people after one’s death. Living With the End in Mind is a handy reference guide to preparing emotionally, physically, and spiritually for death. –Jill Marquis