Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing Why My Family Chose Hospice
There is no guidebook for when, and how, to stop treatment of a terminal illness. This deeply reflective narrative about choices in living and dying gives an intimate account of how the myriad end-of-life decisions affect a family. Bob Vallee had the courage to accept his impending death and lived out his final days at home in his daughter’s care. He passed peacefully, in his sleep, twenty-nine days after entering hospice.
Peace is a place that lies between what is lost and what still remains. Kathleen Vallee Stein presents a lens-shifting view of role reversal as she takes on more, and sometimes unexpected, responsibility for her parents. Her service to her father was a gift of love and gave him the dignity we all deserve in the last days of our lives. A truly skilled writer, Stein’s attention to detail sensitively recaptures events, without falling prey to nostalgia.
Read this book to consider choices you may make for yourself or the ones you love.
“Author Stein hooked me in her introduction, as she takes us on an intimate end-of-life journey, beginning with her father’s decision to stop the cancer radiation treatments that were killing him, and ending with his peaceful passing in the arms of his loving family 29 days later.
Walk in Kathleen’s shoes as she candidly and honestly leads us through her family’s emotional and often painful end-of-life journey and the difficult decisions they had to make.”
- Althea Halchuck, EJD, BCPA, CT, Ending Well! Patient Advocacy
"Kathleen Vallee Stein tells the story of her family’s experience with hospice and the choices that must be made to give her father a dignified and peaceful death. Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing: Why My Family Chose Hospice is a case-study in hospice care and how it can provide the medical, emotional and social support families need to navigate the end of a life. As an RN, I highly recommend this book to anyone working with patients and families who interact with hospice care. It helped me understand the challenges families face and the peace they can experience in giving their loved ones a 'good death.'"
- Ben Rooney, RN, NYU Langone Health, New York
“Loving Choices, Peaceful Passing: Why My Family Chose Hospice is an often touching, no-frills account of an imperfect family’s reluctant but courageous acceptance of a call to action in the final chapter of life. Stein’s father’s physician, Dr. Archer, quietly, but firmly told him that his condition was terminal. Choosing hospice care allowed Stein’s father to die at home with dignity. We often kick life’s painful topics down the road until they knock at our door. Loving Choices is no beach read, but it is worth having as a reference for when that knock comes that you don’t want to answer, but you must.”
- Scott Carter, producer, playwright, and host of Ye Gods! podcast