Lessons for Living at the End of Life
By: Eric Lindner
Published: October 6, 2013
This review is part of the Virtual Author Book Tour. For more stops on the HOSPICE VOICES book tour and to read other reviews, click HERE.
Eric Lindner is looking for a way to give back and decides in 2009, to become a Hospice volunteer. In HOSPICE VOICES, he shares his experiences, his conversations, and the lessons he learned in his time with those at the end of their journey. The book begins with the story of Lindner’s first patient, Bob Zimmerman. He was fortunate to have his first patient be someone he was truly able to share some memories with. Throughout the book he then shares about other patients who made an impact on his life and what they taught him about living and about dying.
As a previous Hospice social worker and then volunteer, I was drawn to this book. Aside from being a mom, working in Hospice was my favorite job. People always assumed it was depressing and couldn’t understand how I could do my job. What I found was I couldn’t wait to go to work every day. Sure, not all the patients were people that I made a connection with, much like the author, but everyone had a story to tell.
Lindner finds a way to tell their stories that help the reader imagine the people both in their younger days as well as presently. He shares their secrets with dignity and you can tell he was truly listening and cared about the patients and their families. I loved that with each patient he found a way to make a connection either through food, through a hobby, or through his talents. I also appreciated his honesty regarding being nervous about meeting a new patient. It isn’t easy to go into people’s homes and feel like you are intruding on their “last days”. It truly is a privilege, as a volunteer, to be able to share in that final journey with the patient and their family.
There is a lot to learn from pages in this book, especially from his humbling Dos and Don’ts chapter at the end. As you read the stories you will see pain, sadness and the ever-looming terminal diagnosis, but you will also be rewarded with laughter, gratitude and surprisingly, hope.
Eric Lindner is an attorney and entrepreneur. He has been a Hospice volunteer since 2009. He divides his time between Virginia and Hawaii. For more on Lindner or the book, check out www.HospiceVoices.com. You can also find him on Facebook, HERE and Twitter, HERE.