HELPING people with a terminal illness be at the centre of their own decision making process is the subject of a new book.
Absolutely Delicious has been written by Droitwich author Alison Jean Lester, based on her own experience with her mum.
Alison believes with such an inevitability, people need to be open about their own mortality with family and friends and plan their best possible death.
The book, launched in October, explores the roads leading to her mother’s cooperation with her terminal disease and her decision to focus on her final weeks.
Alison said: “She knew just where she wanted to be, with whom, doing what, and she communicated this to her family and friends with clarity and consistency.
“She died nine weeks later, having engaged in dying with equanimity, curiosity, and even amusement.
“I think the story will resonate with a lot of your readers who are in a similar position, caring for and supporting elderly parents.”
The title of the book came from Alison’s mum’s last words.
In the hospice she was not eating much but would have a gin and tonic each day.
As she was not speaking much at the time, Alison instigated a conversation by asking what her drink tasted like to which she replied ‘absolutely delicious’.
She did not speak after that.
The book invites people to be more open about death and their own mortality and forces the reader to ask some difficult questions – what makes a ‘good’ death? How to best prepare for our own death, and those of our close family and friends?
Alison also offers readers advice how dying can be better approached if prepared to confront it honestly.
She added the Covid-19 pandemic had forced many people to confront death and encouraged more openness.
“Compassion in Dying has reported a 160 per cent rise in the number of living wills completed via its website between March 20 and April 20 compared with the same period last year.
“There was also a 226 per cent increase in completed advance statements, which allow people to record anything else important to them regarding their future care, including where they would ideally like to be.”
Absolutely Delicious is available at amazon.co.uk for £9.99.