The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe

ImagesThis End of Your Life Book Club is a memoir by a son, Will Schwalbe, writing about the last two years of his mothers life as she was dying from pancreatic cancer.  The book is captivating on so many levels. 

His mother, Mary Ann, was an extraordinary person.  She was a humanitarian with a huge heart.  She was also a really good Mom.  She loved to read and in turn her children did too.  Together WIll and her read a host of books that they discussed over the course of her treatment.  Treatments which just kept her alive.  She knew she would never survive this cancer but she could hopefully stick around for awhile longer. 

I had read so many of the books that they read together so I really enjoyed the conversations and insight into each of these books.  Certainly you look at stories differently based on where you are in your life which made their conversations even more interesting.

What I really loved about the book is how the entire family continued to live knowing that their mother would not be there much longer.  She knew it and embraced it and believed life is for the living.  They were able to have closure and conversations.  Nobody writes about this or rarely talks about what is like to live with someone you know is slowly dying. 

No surprises that I kept thinking about my mother who died almost two years ago.  She was diagnosed with a mass in her brain on November 5th, 2010.  She had brain cancer that took over so quickly that she was gone 5 weeks after her diagnosis.  We did not have the time that Will had with his mother to remember moments, talk about topics that you need closure on or even discuss a book.  She couldn't think clearly.  Every day was a new fire drill. 

I envy that Will was able to spend that time with his Mom as she wound down her life.  Although way too soon for her and him but they could come to terms with it. 

It is really a beautiful book and one that is absolutely worth reading.