Thursday, 13 December 2018

My Book and Podcast Recommendations

In today's post I wanted to share some of my recommendations of books and podcasts that have helped me, soothed me and even brought some laughter into my darker moments.

I was inspired to write this after the lovely Madeleine, from the blog Madeleine Loves, shared a post this week on the books that have helped her. She mentioned some wonderful choices and well known books that have given a lot of comfort to many people ( and also a lovely shout out to this blog too), so I shall link to Madeleine's post here for you to check those out: 

In terms of my own recommendations, here are a couple of my discoveries:

Grief Cast Podcast

This wonderful podcast is hosted by comedian Cariad Lloyd, whose father died when she was 15. 
In her own words she created the podcast 'to talk, share and laugh about the weirdness of grief and death.' 
Each week she talks to a different comedian or familiar face, about their own personal loss, and we get to learn about their experience and how they have dealt with it thus far.
Each time I listen I feel empathy, sadness but most importantly I laugh. I laugh at the peculiar moments, the humorous moments...because they are there, and you need to find them. 

A personal favourite of mine is episode 60 featuring the brilliant Emma Freud and Katherine Ryan. Emma talks of her hatred of when people asked her 'Is there anything I can do?'. Her thoughts on this are... 'Give me a present. It's not rocket science! Of course there is something you can do...I am really sad and you've got some money. Send me a scented candle for god's sake!'

You really do need to hear Emma speak these words to feel the humour, but it certainly tickled me. 

I would highly recommend tuning in. 

With The End In Mind by Kathryn Mannix

This may not be a book that you want to read straight away, but I do think that it is a great and important read. 
Dr Kathryn Mannix is on a mission to reclaim public understanding of dying, and to give us permission to talk about death. 
In her book she tells many stories of her patients over the years that she met and cared for, as a palliative care consultant, and shares their experiences and how they lived whilst dying. How they accepted death, and dealt with the physical process. 

You see, death is extremely scary to us all, and this is because we don't how what to expect. 
Albeit very sad in places, this book taught me that in the same way that our bodies are designed to give birth, there is a process to dying. A slow process, that is very normal and not to be feared. As long as the person in question is kept out of pain, which they can be with medication, then it is not a frightening experience. 

I also learnt (which may sound bizarre) that my mum's death was 'normal', and for that I am very grateful and took comfort. Comfort in the knowledge that other people would have experienced the same process as me, and it also helped me to understand each stage and I now can look back and know what was happening. 

Death is very odd, but this does open up a conversation, and I think it is an important read for anyone. You realise the wonderful qualities of humans; their courage and love. 

I do hope that these suggestions, as well as Madeleine's, can be helpful to you and bring you a little comfort when needed. 
Please do let me know if you have discovered anything yourself too, I would love to hear. 


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