- Dear Life

Dear Life by Rachel Clarke

February 26, 2020

Recommended by a friend, I recently read the warm-hearted biography "Dear Life – A Doctor's View of Love and Loss" (2020) by Rachel Clarke. Rachel is a palliative care doctor in London, but the book is not solely about end-of-life care. Above all, it's a testament to how to be human, how to be a loving and caring human being. The book begins in London with her loving father, approaching his death, and how they find unity in music despite their differences of opinion (Brexit, etc.).

"Dear Life" is a book about human care, delivering many heartbreaking scenes from her experiences in hospice and her own life as well, in a very keen and personal sense. It talks about the care we all desire, especially in moments of crisis, with all the concerns and encounters both with ourselves, our shortcomings, and our patients in caregiving.

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 person. In contrast, Rachel's book "Dear Life" is remarkably authentic and open-minded.

Emma Thompson in the film Wit