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Sep 3 / Heather Dillaway

IOG Alum Publishes Book on Hospice Care Experience

birthing death bookWe at the Institute of Gerontology are proud to announce that IOG alum Sue Fabian IOG alum published Birthing Death in April 2014. In this book, Fabian offers the inner-world roller coaster ride of her experience with the end of life as an Elder Law attorney, Geriatric Care Manager, and devoted daughter about the final 27 days before her mother’s death. Although she was the sole caregiver for her mother, Violet, for 22 years, she describes the final 27 days of in-patient hospice care as “breath-taking,” “heavy” and “intense”, as she and her brothers waited to “birth” her mother’s spirit through bodily death. Fabian gracefully details the toll that this experience takes on caregivers, as well as the importance of knowing how to walk through family landmines, digest barraging medical information and decide treatment–all necessarily a part of the end of life when one’s emotions are flooding to overload.

Throughout this twelve-chapter journey, Fabian prompts the reader to think ahead about important logistical, medical and emotional decisions with chapter-ending “Toolbag Thoughts: “What decisions are you making about how you will cope?” (p.7). “Is there something you can do to help yourself prepare for the inevitable call (that your loved one has died)?” (p. 54). “If special days are on the horizon, how do you want them to look knowing your loved one will not be physically present?” (p. 91). Fabian also uses her legal background in sharing hard-won patient advocacy tips and the power in one’s Medical Power of Attorney. Following the death, Fabian encourages readers to engage in activities that carry on the loved one’s legacy. Finally she offers suggestions for hospitals, hospices and other health care settings to improve the waiting room experience for intensely grieving family members.

Birthing Death is available for purchase at Amazon books. Fabian will also be available to give local talks on end-of-life caregiving and her book. To contact Sue Fabian directly, please visit or call (248) 585-7917.

Congratulations, Sue, on your important new book!

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