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The Four Things That Matter Most - 10th Anniversary Edition


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Table of Contents


Part One: The Four Things

Chapter 1: Saying the Four Things

Chapter 2: The Healing Power of Words

Chapter 3: Completing Relationships

Chapter 4: Transformations

Part Two: Forgiveness

Chapter 5: Loved Ones Live On Inside Us

Chapter 6: Resolving a Legacy of Pain

Chapter 7: The Emotional Economics of Forgiveness

Chapter 8: Extreme Acts of Forgiveness

Chapter 9: Forgiving Yourself

Chapter 10: Living with Uncertainty and Illness

Part Three: Thank You
Chapter 11: Practicing Gratitude

Chapter 12: The Unexpected Grace of Reconnection

Chapter 13: The Family Dynamics of Gratitude

Part Four: I Love You

Chapter 14: Creative Ways of Saying the Four Things

Chapter 15: Loving the Body

Chapter 16: Living Every Day as if It Were Your First -- or Last

Chapter 17: Lives Intertwined with Love

Part Five: Good-bye

Chapter 18: Nothing Left Unsaid

Chapter 19: The Mysterious Magic of Some Good-byes

Chapter 20: Good-byes That Are Gifts Through Time

Chapter 21: Good-byes That Celebrate Life

Afterword: Reflections Before Good-bye



About the Author

Ira Byock, MD, is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life. His research and writing have helped to define quality of life and quality of care for people living with advanced medical conditions. He has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1978 and is a founding member and past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. From 1996 through 2006, he served as Director for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a national grant program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Byock is Chief Medical Officer of the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services system. From 2003 through July 2013 he directed the palliative care program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Dr. Byock is a Professor of Medicine and Community & Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

More information is available at IraByock.org.


Caroline Myss Author of Sacred Contracts, Why People Don't Heal and How They Can, and Anatomy of the Spirit The Four Things That Matter Most is a book of commonsense wisdom that has the power to dynamically change your life. It is a pleasure to recommend a book that encourages you to transform the quality of your life in simple ways that actually work.
Maggie Callanan Coauthor of Final Gifts A tender read I highly recommend. The Four Things That Matter Most offers simple but solid solutions for healing our complex and fragile relationships -- wisdom that will surely enrich our lives.
Larry Dossey, M.D. Author of Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing Medicine, and Healing Words For anyone who believes that years of therapy are required for transforming relationships with others, this book will come as a pleasant surprise. Great wisdom has always been simple -- that is why it is elusive -- and great wisdom is what this book contains.
Joan Halifax, Ph.D. Author, Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, founder and director of Ojai Foundation, and founder, Upaya Foundation Ira Byock's compassionate and important work in the field of dying has given him the four great treasures of love and freedom that all of us can use throughout our life. This wonderful book opens the doors to these jewels of compassion.
Zorba Paster, M.D. Author of The Longevity Code, host of public radio's Zorba Paster on Your Health, and host of the public television special How to Live a Long, Sweet Life The Four Things That Matter Most provides simple, insightful words and stories that move the heart and the soul. Dr. Byock shows us a graceful way to nurture relationships and heal those that need mending.
"This beautiful book, full of wisdom and warmth, teaches us how to protect and preserve our most valuable possessions--the relationships with those we love. It shows that the things that matter definitely aren't 'things,' and how to empower your life in the right direction." -- Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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