The Four Things That Matter Most - 10th Anniversary Edition: A Book About Living

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 8, 2004 - Self-Help - 240 pages
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Newly updated with stories from people who have turned to this life-altering book in their time of need, this motivational teaching about what really matters reminds us how we can honor each relationship every day.

Four simple phrases—“Please forgive me,” “I forgive you,” “Thank you,” and “I love you”—carry enormous power to mend and nurture our relationships and inner lives. These four phrases and the sentiments they convey provide a path to emotional wellbeing, guiding us through interpersonal difficulties to life with integrity and grace.

Dr. Ira Byock, an international leader in palliative care, explains how we can practice these life-affirming words in our day-to-day lives. Too often we assume that the people we love really know that we love them. Dr. Byock demonstrates the value of “stating the obvious” and provides practical insights into the benefits of letting go of old grudges and toxic emotions. His stories help us to forgive, appreciate, love, and celebrate one another and live life more fully.

Using the Four Things in a wide range of life situations, we can experience emotional healing even in the wake of family strife, personal tragedy, divorce, or in the face of death. With practical wisdom and spiritual power, The Four Things That Matter Most gives us the language and guidance to honor and experience what really matters most in our lives every day.

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Simply written, all can enjoy the writing and ideas in "The Four Things that Matter Most." This book, like Dr. Byock's other books, delivers a simple and useful message. The message is related in both didactic and well written prose and through poignant case examples. The ideas presented are useful when discussing end of life considerations with parents, children and anyone to whom you are close. The concepts also fit extremely well with life not associated with the near presence of an end. So many of our relationship difficulties are mired in assumptions and thoughts and feelings left unexpressed. Applying the premises presented in "The Four Things..." can contribute to more openness and understanding in relationships we value. 


Thank You
I Love You
Reflections Before Goodbye
About the Author

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Page 3 - For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: "It might have been...

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About the author (2004)

Ira Byock, MD, is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life. His research and writing have helped to define quality of life and quality of care for people living with advanced medical conditions. He has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1978 and is a founding member and past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. From 1996 through 2006, he served as Director for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a national grant program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Byock is Chief Medical Officer of the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services system. From 2003 through July 2013 he directed the palliative care program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Dr. Byock is a Professor of Medicine and Community & Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

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