- Dear Life

Dear Life by Rachel Clarke

February 26, 2020

Recommended by a friend, I recently read this warm-hearted biography “Dear Life – a doctor’s view of love and loss” (2020) by Rachel Clarke. Rachel is a palliative doctor in London, but the book is not just only about end-of-life care, on palliative care. Above all, it's a book of how to be human, how to be a loving and caring human being. The book begins in London together with her loving father and his near coming death and how they unite in music despite some other differences of opinion (Brexit, etc.).

Dear Life is a book about human care, and delivers many heartbreaking scenes from her experiences in hospice and her own life as well, and this in its most keen and personal sense, and about the care we all desire, especially in moments of crisis, with all the concerns and encounters both with ourselves, and our shortcomings, and our patients in care giving.

An opposite example is the contrast as it appears in the film Wit where actress Emma Thompson meets the oncologist, played by Christopher Lloyd; built into the traditional hospital system with all its hierarchical structures and personal distances, a film-sequence that visualises the academic "professional" attitude and inability to meet a life-threatened and needy and living person. In contrast Rachels book “Dear Life” is remarkable authentic and open-minded.