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Cover for My Journey Home

My Journey Home

Karen Westphalen, Don McCall (As Told by)


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What's it like to face death?

In March 2013, my closest friend, Don McCall, found out that the cancer for which he'd received extensive treatment had returned and he had months left to live. I was in my mid-forties, living in Portland, Oregon, and still sorting out "what I wanted to be when I grew up." Don and I decided to record an audio conversation every day for as long as he was able to speak with me. We made 171 recordings before his life ended close to six months later. This book is a result of those daily conversations.

How do I tell loved ones that I'm dying?

In this book, Don speaks of how people reacted to his news that he was dying and how he felt about sharing that news. Both the way the news is shared and the expectations of the dying person need to be considered. Though Don's experiences of trying different approaches with different people in his life, he hopes that others in the process of dying will find something to help them share more effectively.

What do I say to someone who's dying?

It can be so uncomfortable. Should I be sad or act like things are still the same? Is it okay to laugh about death? With honesty, sincerity, and humor, Don recalls a variety of interactions with others and describes how their reactions affected him. Through our recordings and this book, I hope Don can provide insight into how to show loving compassion to a beloved family member or friend on their final journey.

Karen Westphalen, 9781952447839, 418pp.

Publication Date: July 31, 2021