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How We Die

文章日期:2010年6月18日

When my daughter gave me this book on Mother's Day, I must say I was taken aback and could not help but voice in distaste my disapproval of her choice of gift for her old lady.

“What? DYING on Mother's Day?”

“No, Mom, there's so much more than dying in this book; I see it as a book about living. I know you will love it. Happy Mother's Day! Longevity to my dearest Mom!”

It was with slight reluctance and much curiosity that I started reading the book. I turned to page one, finished the first chapter and could hardly put down this little Mother's Day gift until the last page. In the course, deaths were inevitable, but they were in many different ways guidelines to life and how to live. Allow me to share one aspect here.

Life is full of surprises. Some are pleasant delights; others not. Always be prepared and we will never be caught off guard not knowing how to handle the situation. In case we come across a not-so-pleasant surprise or even a frightening one, we still have to go forward in faith and do the very best we can.

How We Die by Dr. Nuland is a powerful and very sensitive book of the many deaths the doctor has encountered in his career. Despite his long experience in medicine and a career as a distinguished surgeon, there are times he finds it not an easy task to take control in the face of death. He never shirks the responsibility though, but does what it takes in the best interest of his patients.

How ready are we when all of a sudden, we come face to face with a change? Do we say "Oh!" and passively wait to be taken control of? Or do we react in a positive, courageous and responsible manner?

The wisdom of life and living is abundant in this book. It is about the quality of life the end of which we all will face one day. My daughter's loving wish rings in my ears: Longevity to my dearest Mom! I know mine is a quality life, regardless of its length.

Reviewed by Ms. Brenda Mau, Principal of St. Mark's School

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