Tonawanda News — Butler says she knew her mother “clouted” her father, and shouted at him in frustrated anger.
By this time, Butler was convinced that the pacemaker her father had wasn’t the medical miracle it was meant to be. And she learned that pacemakers could be turned off.
So much went through my mind as I read this beautiful, emotionally brutal book.
With sorrow, grace and growing exasperation, author Katy Butler writes of her father’s long, messy death; her mother’s quiet, dignified passing; and the parallel story of how modern medicine, drug companies and government rules promoted the former.
That’s a lot of hard reading, made gentler with Butler’s Buddhist values and serenity. And yet, it’s not easy to avoid outrage as she points out the unfairness of aging, the cruelty of physical decline, and the knowledge that those — and the surety of caretaking — are somewhat inevitable for many Baby Boomers today.
This is a stunning book, truthful and its dignified, and it could be a conversation-starter. If there’s a need for that in your family — or if you only want to know what could await you — then read “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” You won’t regret it.
Terri Schlichenmeyer reviews books from her home in LaCrosse, Wis. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.• WHAT: "Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death" • BY: Katy Butler • PUBLISHER: Scribner • GRADE: A+