The Final Mile By Faye Landrum

This is another book that I can recommend. While working as a Social Worker I often get to speak with spouses that are trying to cope with having to say goodbye to their loved ones. I listen to them and try to empathize  but luckily I have not had to lose my husband.  I can’t allow my  mind to dwell on this subject and at the same time I needed to know how to offer support to these family members.

Faye Landrum had to go through the horrible pain of saying goodbye to the man that she was married to after more than 40 years. She shares their journey together and what her fears were. She shared what he was going through as well and how important the support of family, friends and Hospice were to them during this time.

Her book doesn’t hold back. She shared how one day when the pain of his cancer became almost unbearable he asked her,  “Would you think ill of me if I took my own life?”  She assured him that she wouldn’t think ill of him but that she wished that he wouldn’t do it. 

She shared her frailty and how difficult it was for her to go through this experience. She offers suggestions and validates many of the feelings that people experience and are afraid to talk about. Such as wishing that you have a few moments to yourself and then feeling guilty because you know your loved one is in pain and afraid.

If you know of anyone who is going through something similar and needs to know that they are not alone I highly recommend this book. Often someone who is losing their spouse will be afraid to admit their feelings because they feel guilty for having totally natural feelings. She offers suggestions on ways to simplify the process of losing your loved one. The importance of planning your wills, your advanced directives, living will, etc…

She also discusses all of the many gifts that Hospice provided for their family. They assisted with pain medications, respite relief and emotional support when the days became very rough. She explained the process of planning the funeral and all of the many details of setting someone’s estate. I learned many things from this book and hopefully it will make me a better, more compassionate Social Worker with my families.

Faye Landrum is a Christian and she shares her beliefs in this book as well. I know that I will be getting copies of this book and providing to them my loved ones for when they are needed.  No one wants to think about death but it is a reality that eventually we all must die. I hope that I can embrace the process much better after having read Ms. Landrum’s account of her personal journey when losing her husband.. Whether it is sparing my husband many of the painful experiences that someone has when they lose a spouse or if I am the one left behind if he passes before me. This book was a blessing for me.

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