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Lessons for the Living: Stories of Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Courage at the End of Life [Kindle Edition]

Stan Goldberg
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

When Stan Goldberg was diagnosed with cancer, he chose to face his fear by helping others who were already in the process of dying: Stan signed up as a hospice volunteer and spent several years at the bedsides of the terminally ill. In this book, Stan shares the remarkable stories of people he met who were facing the end of life. Their stories shine a light on the human capacity for beauty, insight, forgiveness, and gratitude, as we see how people like us deal with anxiety and sadness with bravery and love.

But what's especially remarkable is that the bravery and love aren't as much expressed in grand, dramatic gestures as they are in ordinary acts and small accomplishments: in simple efforts at kindness, in asking for and receiving forgiveness, in the abandonment of anger, and in learning to speak directly from the heart—and to listen in the same way. What Stan ultimately discovers—and shares here—are not lessons in dying, but rather, lessons in learning how to live.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 282 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Trumpeter (2 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C5KK742
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I finished this book the day I received it. The author drew me in completely with his beautiful story telling and genuineness. I am about to start work as a volunteer in a hospice and his loving, insightful observations of the dying have helped to prepare me for this. The lessons he has learned from these incredible people whilst he himself is suffering from cancer are a powerful message to the living to enjoy our time with our loved ones, how to help them on their last journey, or how to prepare them to be with us on ours.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories at the End of Life 16 Jun. 2009
By Samuel L. Oliver - Published on
What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living

Stan Goldberg has put together a series of stories that will inspire you to reach into your heart and soul and seek ways to care for others with a compassionate heart. Each story will guide you into acts of kindness that will move your heart into a place only your soul can embrace. In essence, these stories are encounters with eternal relationships created in our most simplest of moments in our care for others.

You will find stories of gratitude, forgiveness, courage, hope, faith, and much more in this book. As you care for the needs of others through service, you will find a path created inside you that will form your character in ways you never knew was possible. You will find peace in the appearance of despair, and you will come to know your most authentic self.

This is a book of encouragement. You will find yourself challenged by your present behavior toward others and replace it with the joy of living life in unconditional grace. Dying people have much to teach us about living, and how, unconditionally loving another person during their most darkest hours will reveal a beacon of light that will illuminate our soul.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goldberg Gives New Book Gives New Meaning To Living and Loving 29 Sept. 2009
By Cyrus Webb - Published on
Sometimes it takes losing everything for you to appreciate what you have in front of you and how your life can make a difference to so many. This is just one of the revelations discovered in Stan Goldberg's new book LESSONS FOR THE LIVING. Whether it is appreciating the taste of one's favorite dessert, really hearing music for the first time or learning how you have impacted others, Goldberg realized after being given a sobering view of his own mortality just how precious things in life can be. This is one you will read with a renewed sense of what really makes us happy in life.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons for the Living 2 Aug. 2009
By N. Brown - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I hesitated starting this book. The subject, care of the dying, seemed too depressing. I'm glad I did go ahead with it. It is a healing joy to read, and a shining tribute to the personalities of patients Stan met while volunteering at hospices and to the compassion and skill of hospice staffs and volunteers. The practical suggestions at the end are concise and usable.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest, down to earth and realistic 13 July 2011
By Change - Published on
As a person who has lived through two serious brain tumors and who is looking into avenues to volunteer to serve others in need, my husband read this book. Due to his condition, there are times when he can read, write and understand and there are times when he can not read or even follow the plot of a short cartoon. But he discusses what he reads with me and I have put together this review on his behalf, paraphrasing his own words from this point on.

I can relate to the author of this book and his motivation. My condition is indefinite as I have already outlived the life expectation of someone with my condition (oligodendroglioma). The author of this book has a more definite condition with death being much more inevitable for him. Yet I can relate. I can also relate to the author in that he found himself drawn to being of service to others and more specifically to others who are approaching death.

Death is still something that most people avoid thinking about, even if they are dying or a loved one is on their death bed. Like myself, this author decided to face death with honesty and integrity. This book is about his thoughts and experiences helping people to face death as a hospice volunteer. I read this book because I am starting to consider doing the same and I wanted to get a realistic and honest perspective on what it involves and what it is like. That is exactly what this book delivers.

Thankfully the author does not white-wash his experiences. His honesty and sincerity comes through from beginning to end. Thankfully he does no use religion as an opiate and therefore the frankness and realism is gritty. He recounts his experiences with various people he has helped face death without painting them as saints or angels. He gives us their negative human sides.

He tells us that helping people die is messy, unpredictable, very difficult to deal with emotionally, and so on. He gives us the bad with the good. In fact, he is so frank about the difficulty involved with being a hospice volunteer that I find myself grappling with the thought of volunteering. he has made it clear how difficult it is. For this I am grateful.

But it is not all negative. It seems he has gained a certain maturity, a certain attitude towards life and death that can not be gained without going through his experiences. Most of all, what shines through for me is the author's selflessness, his willingness to help the dying despite the tremendous difficulty in doing so and his uncompromising sincerity and honesty about it all.

He also gives good advice for people who's loved ones are dying and some resources for those who want to volunteer for hospices and some recommended reading for those who want to read more on the topic of death and life.

I recommend this book to anyone who has a terminal illness, to their loved ones and to anyone who is considering volunteer work in a hospice.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brave Man 21 July 2009
By K. Miller - Published on
Stan Goldberg is a brave man. Diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer, he faces the prospect of dying as a relatively young man by going directly to the people who can teach him about dying. He becomes a Hospice volunteer. Out of his experiences he learns timeless lessons in forgiveness, gratitude and courage that he shares with us in honest, well-written prose in his book Lessons for the Living. We need more books like this for we are all mortal. We need to know what to expect and to be able to talk to one another about death as a deeply personal experience affecting not only the person who dies, but all of us whether connected closely or peripherably. Well done, Stan. Kay Mehl Miller, author of Talking It Over: Understanding Sexual Diversity
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