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In the Shadow of Angels cover

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death and dying, hospice care, palliative care, loss and bereavement, loss counselling, dealing with grief, terminal home care

In the Shadow of Angels
Intimate Stories from a Hospice Counsellor
by Susan Breiddal

“You people are angels!”

This is how many respond to those who work in palliative care. How hospice care professionals manage the emotional tension of being surrounded by sick, dying, and grief-stricken people is unfathomable.

Over her 20 years of work as a hospice counsellor, author Dr. Breiddal, has collected stories of how ordinary people face death and dying. In this living body of work she reveals the skills needed, along with the struggles and rewards of providing hospice care. Bridging memoir and creative nonfiction, she weaves together theory and practice in the service of the dying and their families.

Breiddal aims to make the often-strange reality of death accessible through an intimate, raw, and realistic portrayal of the art of providing loving end-of-life care. Admittedly, being called to this work is to be pulled out of everyday life which requires a willingness to have one’s sense of safety and familiarity challenged: to be off-balance, to surrender to uncertainty, change, discomfort and growth. Encouraging a relational way to encounter mortality, she offers hope that caring for the dying and bereaved is a paradoxical opportunity to open up to life.

By entwining her personal and professional experiences, the author presents a timely primer for readers who are facing the death of their loved ones, their own death, or are bereaved. Additionally, both those currently working in the field or considering a career in palliative care will find In the shadow of angels: Intimate stories from a hospice counsellor a fascinating read.

Such fascinating stories, I couldn't put it down. CD

These stories will stay with me for a long time. UM

I now have a new appreciation for the art that is involved in palliative care counselling. JJ

Susan Breiddal, PhD, lives in Victoria with her husband of 45 years, Bruce. She is a person of wholehearted passion, whether tackling mothering, palliative care, rock climbing, cooking and entertaining, Duplicate Bridge, CrossFit, or eating candy. She has, however, been known to neglect parts of her life that do not interest her (housework, politics, tofu, and finances). Being kind, connecting with those she loves, practicing gratitude, and having fun are her main areas of interest these days.

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Susan Breiddal

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