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With The End In Mind by Kathryn Mannix

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PUBLISHED BY HARPER COLLINS
REVIEW BY HAYLEY ROHEAD

Kathryn Mannix has shared in the end of many people’s lives. She understands death, because she stands in waiting for so many people, guiding them through their final hours or days.

With the End in Mind is a beautifully told collection of stories about the end of various peoples lives, sharing the sadness, hope (and hopelessness), grief, anger, denial, acceptance and loss involved in the end of a life. Long due, sudden, old, or young, we all meet the eternal slumber one way or another, and many of us will be witness to the passing of a loved one. Yet Mannix is correct: we have forgotten the patterns of dying. We dance around the subject, like maybe it's catching, so we as a people have forgotten the very human nature of it.

Mannix’s book paints a collection of patterns together. She tells us about the journey of the dying, but also of those sitting idle at their bedsides. In doing so, she reassures us that there is normality in death; that death does not necessarily mean suffering.

What I found most enlightening in these stories was the difference in mental health among the dying. Some talk of beating an illness, others talk of going while they are healthy, some worry over pain, over the pain they will cause their family. This book was entirely enlightening, in a way that was also filled with a deep sadness. The stories gave me an overwhelming sense that everything turns out okay, even if it doesn’t.

 

Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.