When Blanche Stone was diagnosed with bone cancer, her daughter Susan interrupted an unusual life -- in a Buddhist monastery -- to return home and become a full-time caregiver. With practical wisdom, humor, and an eye for telling detail, Susan relates their experiences sharing a house, dealing with finances, participating in family and holiday rituals, finding ways to ease Blanche's discomfort as her health declined, gratefully accepting the support of the local hospice, and coming to a greater appreciation of each other as individuals.
Readers of any faith (or none) can benefit from these accounts of living moment by moment, responding without preconception to each evolving situation, embracing one's own needs along with the needs of a person facing death. Susan shows how such living happens: within a sacred place where there is room to honor and be awed by what is at hand, however difficult, and where one gains the freedom to enjoy it all.
At the Eleventh Hour presents a model for how children can offer parents the gift of a "good death." Like a wise and supportive friend, it can lift spirits and be a reminder that, hard as it is, it's okay -- and sometimes even fun. (In this way, the book is similar to Tuesdays with Morrie which has lifted the spirits of millions).