From the archives: Sunita Puri about living – and dying – nou

Although Americans are living longer — the proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older has more than tripled in the past century — we still feel very uncomfortable about dying. In fact, the end of life has been so medicalized that death is often viewed as a failure, rather than accepted as a fundamental stage of life.

Sunita Puri wants to change that. Her book, “That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour,” is a masterful memoir about helping people die — and live — well. It describes her journey to become a palliative care doctor towards the end of her medical training, after realizing that medicine had little to say about patient suffering and mortality.

It reflects the thoughts of sixth-generation author and undertaker Caleb Wilde in his new book, “All the Ways Our Dead Still Speak.” Wilde’s tender and personal reflections on what it’s like to grieve and grapple with loved ones with death will be the talk of this Friday’s episode of Big Books and Bold Ideas.

Until then, enjoy this 2019 look back with Puri on how we need to rethink death so we can truly live well.


You can use the audio player above to listen to the entire conversation.

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