Saturday, October 27, 2007

Years ago, my Great-uncle M died unexpectedly in his sleep at a ripe old age. No dwindling, no surgery, no ICU stays, no chemo, no nursing home, just alive and well one day and dead the next morning. But what the family, including his wife, found remarkable was that this old fellow, best known for his sour disposition, had such a peaceful death. Aunt I felt forced to reconsider the possibility that he was a really good man after all.

Few of us meet a sudden death at an advanced age. Many of us will live some time with a serious illness, and all of us hope that we can live well to the end despite the health challenges we will face.

So here's good news indeed. An extraordinary woman who's been there, doing that has written a book about navigating through the world of serious illness and thriving on the journey. Tiffany Christensen was born with cystic fibrosis, survived two double lung transplants, and said final goodbyes to her loved ones on several occasions. At times when she scarcely had the breath to open her dresser drawer much less pull out her clothes or put them on, she discovered a rich inner landscape of emotional growth.

Her book Sick Girl Speaks!: Lessons and Ponderings Along the Road to Acceptance is a must-read for all of us who are facing or will face life-threatening illnesses, or who care personally or professionally for someone else in that situation. Think about it, that's all of us.

Check out her blog Sickgirl Speaks and her web-site, or order her book at


Mauigirl said...

I'll have to check out her site and book. When I was a teenager our next door neighbors were a lovely family whose oldest son had cystic fibrosis; their second two kids were adopted in order to avoid another case). Last I heard he was still doing OK (they moved to Michigan around the time I went off to college). He must be 49 by now. It's amazing how well he has done.

Jean said...

Have to be inspired for sure by reading her book journey.
Both W's father and brother died of heart attacks - both literally fell on the floor and were gone. Life is def. one huge irony - my guy is so healthy. Those sudden deaths are a shock but I often wonder what is easier on the family??

Smalltown RN said...

I left you a couple of comments on your other blog...but I had to stop by here as well. I lost a niece to CF two years ago...she had a double lung transplant at the age of 12...she was 21 when she past....her life was truly a journey....she as a local spoke's person for CF and made many public appearances...we all knew her time was limited....I remember when she came back from a cruise with her Nana....she posted all about it on her blog....10 days later she was gone....I lost my father suddenly to a mother had Alzheimer's but it wasn't that that took her life if was cholangiocarcinoma....diagnosed in July gone by September....a sister diagnosed with MDS August gone in it easier on those left behind if they go quickly or slowly....I don't think all hurts in the end....just love them while you have them...