Contents: Series Foreword. Preface. Part I: Hospice as a Context of Health Care and Interpersonal Communication. Beginnings. Volunteer Training. Part II: Entering the Country of the Dying. Taking the First Steps. The Volunteers' Stories. Going Out. Part III: Communication as Improvisation: Learning How to "Be There" for People at the End of Life. Living in the Moment Between Life and Death. Caring Without Conversation. Being Together, Letting Go. Part IV: Communication at the Time of Death. Endings. Volunteers' Reflections on the First Year. Hospice and Communication at the End of Life. Appendix.
"This is an account of Elissa Foster's moving experiences as
a hospice volunteer, focusing in particular on communication and
drawing on many stories of her experiences of being with dying
people. It also reflects a critical engagement with a wide range of
existing academic literature derived from sociological,
anthropological and other kinds of studies of dying and hospice
care. In bringing these two areas of experience and scholarship
together, the author has produced a significant and insightful
work, likely to be of great value to people involved both in
hospice care and in developing academic perspectives on this. I
congratulate the author on her achievement."
"Communicating at the End of Life views out-patient hospice
care through the eyes of a doctoral student doing ethnography by
volunteering. The book offers an honest record of what volunteer
visits feel like, moment by moment. New hospice volunteers and
volunteer-coordinators will find the book of particular
-Arthur W. Frank
University of Calgary
"This book offers extraordinary insight into the emotions
and surprising beauty of dying experiences. Foster strikes just the
right balance between personal experience and empirical rigor."
-Athena du Pre'
University of West Florida