Hospice Voices By: Eric Lindner ~ Book Review

Category: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Volunteerism, Hospice, Caregiver
Available in: Print & ebook, 232 pages
Purchase on Amazon 

As a part-time hospice volunteer, Eric Lindner provides companion care to dying strangers. They are chatterboxes and recluses, religious and irreligious, battered by cancer, congestive heart failure, Alzheimer s, old age. Some cling to life amazingly. Most pass as they expected. 

In telling his story, Lindner reveals the thoughts, fears, and lessons of those living the ends of their lives in the care of others, having exhausted their medical options or ceased treatment for their illnesses. In each chapter, Lindner not only reveals the lessons of lives explored in their final days, but zeroes in on how working for hospice can be incredibly fulfilling. 

As he s not a doctor, nurse, or professional social worker, just a volunteer lending a hand, offering a respite for other care providers, his charges often reveal more, and in more detail, to him than they do to those with whom they spend the majority of their time. They impart what they feel are life lessons as they reflect on their own lives and the prospect of their last days. Lindner captures it all in his lively storytelling. 

Anyone who knows or loves someone working through end of life issues, living in hospice or other end of life facilities, or dealing with terminal or chronic illnesses, will find in these pages the wisdom of those who are working through their own end of life issues, tackling life s big questions, and boiling them down into lessons for anyone as they age or face illness. And those who may feel compelled to volunteer to serve as companions will find motivation, inspiration, and encouragement. 

Rather than sink under the weight of depression, pity, or sorrow, Lindner celebrates the lives of those who choose to live even as they die.

I was a little hesitant when I first opened this book.  I recently lost my mother and I'm very sensitive to issues surrounding death and dying. I kept a box of tissues handy while I was reading and I'm glad I did.  By the end of the book, I felt like I knew many of the people Eric worked with.  I knew that they were likely to die (it was a book on Hospice care and end of life issues) but I hoped that they wouldn't.

The book was sensitively written, and the focus was not on death but on the lives of the people Eric worked with.  The book gave me a new appreciation for the work that hospice volunteers do and the ways they help people facing the end of their lives.  The different approaches that each person had to hospice care and what they wanted out of the experience really opened my eyes to the myriad of choices available today.  

I also found myself completely invested in the author and his family.  His story is woven throughout the book, and is a good view of the commitment needed to be a hospice volunteer.  Throughout the book, one thing remains clear - that the volunteer gets as much, if not more, out of the experience as the people who are being helped.

I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in end of life issues or who is considering volunteering at a hospice.

Reviewed by Jenn A.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad you enjoyed Hospice Voices!


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