On Being There

. . . when death is salvation

by B. W. Van Riper



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 01/07/2011

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 456
ISBN : 9781456741945
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 456
ISBN : 9781456741952

About the Book

After months of failing health and anguishing twists and turns in her medical situation, Liz learned that her fate was sealed. Every avenue of hope had closed to her. She was desperate for relief from physical and mental trauma, and she was terrified by thoughts of a depressing and, in her mind, a demeaning conclusion to her life.

Doctors gave what they could, probably all that they could. But they couldn't give Liz what she wanted; they couldn't prolong her life, and they wouldn't hasten her death.

Mortally ill is Liz. Her disease not only terminal, her time is short. By crisis impaled, Liz is inspired to take control of her own fate/with stipulations. At heart, she wants to end her life in her own way surrounded by her dearest friends. The moral support of friends, though, fades to gray when the presence of their company is requested. --This her story.

The devotion of a band of women to a dying friend not only resonates with compassion but also resounds with reservations about a request for involvement in an incredible and impolitic denouement. Stymied by Liz's appeal to be there for her at jouney's end causes her friends inordinate angst as orthodoxy comes down hard on complicity. The fast friends face perplexing terms and conditions of allegiance that are both excruciating and inescapable. Theirs becomes a quandary: Can it be wrong to do the right thing, or conversely, right to do the wrong thing? --This is their story.

The clarion call for uncommon commitment and valor takes more than raw courage to answer. In those rare instances where extraordinary measures are called for, being there for someone in dire need can require the most discordant sacrifice imaginable. --And, in that event, this could be our story.

About the Author

A special, abiding interest in sociocultural issues has been prominent in his life and work. An advocate of personal choice and planned change, the author has been a facilitator of self-expression, self-assessment, and self-direction in his thinking, teaching, and writing. He spent his most productive years in higher education preparing graduate students for careers in counseling and therapy. The author has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and is professor emeritus at Eastern Michigan University. His wife and family, including a daughter and four sons, spouses, and 12 grandchildren, are and have been a source of great pride and support over the years. Family is, as it always has been, central and enduring in all his efforts and endeavors, whether personal or professional.