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Summary

Internationally renowned psychiatrist and author Irvin Yalom has devoted his career to counselling those suffering from anxiety and grief. But never had he faced the need to counsel himself until his wife, esteemed feminist author Marilyn Yalom, was diagnosed with cancer. In A Matter of Death and Life, Marilyn and Irvin share how they took on profound new struggles: Marilyn to die a good death, Irvin to live on without her.

In alternating accounts of their last months together and Irvin's first months alone, they offer us a rare window into coping with death and the loss of one's beloved. The Yaloms had rare blessings - a loving family, a beautiful home, a large circle of friends, avid readers around the world, and a long, fulfilling marriage - but they faced death as we all do. With the candour and wisdom of those who have thought deeply and loved well, they investigate universal questions of intimacy, love, and grief.

Informed by two lifetimes of experience, A Matter of Death and Life offers poignant insights and solace to all those seeking to fight despair in the face of death, so that they can live meaningfully.

©2021 Irvin Yalom and Marilyn Yalom (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Illuminating and vivid, a beautiful examination of the consolation of a life well-lived, and a beacon of hope to all of us who will be bereaved." (Kathryn Mannix)

"An unforgettable and achingly beautiful story of enduring love." (Lori Gottleib)

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Wow

so powerful and emotional. just wow. tissues will be needed
a great exploration of love, life and death

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just love dr Yalom

what not to Love about Yalom he is pure genius. Such a powerful book.

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Wonderful

Another wonderful and though provoking book, takling one of the most frightening and yet very pressing issues we face as the human family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us Irv and Marylin.

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A Matter of Death & Life

I am a huge fan of Irvin Yalom and this exploration of his devoted relationship to his wife, who co wrote most of this book with him before her death from cancer, is incredibly moving and inspiring. It’s written from the heart with a beautiful honesty and a celebration of deep love and connection. Read everything you can by Yalom, he’s an inspiration and a brilliant therapist.

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Emotive and powerful

I am a counselling student just starting training and this book is my introduction to Yalom. I can honestly say this book is beautifully written and emotive. it made me laugh and cry but also resonated with me as I felt this book was open, honest and raw. Yaloms vulnerability was beautiful and I closed my eyes and imaged i was holding him much for myself as for him. Feels very poignant at the moment thinking of how the Queen must feel for losing Prince Philip. I wish I could send her this book.

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loved it

beautiful and moving story of a life time of love and loss and moving forward

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Heart wrenching

As a psychotherapist myself I have followed Dr Yalom closely, used his wisdom with my own clients and held him in my head while in sessions. This book focuses on Yalom's processes before, during and after the death of his wife whom he met when he was 15, she 14. If this book fails to move, create a tear or two or does not stimulate thought on deeply difficult areas of death and life then I would be astounded. A man nearing the end of his own life, willing to share his grief is the mark of a great and also a deeply humble man.

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Wonderful

Heartbreaking and brutally honest yet beautiful and profound. As always this incredible human has opened my eyes and mind. Also what an introduction to his wife who was quite clearly every bit as intelligent and talented as he.
I couldn't stop listening.

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Beautiful, poignant, powerful, a must read/listen

A legacy of the heart, abundant gratitude and love for Irvin and Marilyn. To have loved each other so deeply with wonder, awe and presence, to live with no regrets, deeply moving. I listened and finished in one day. Brilliant narration, I cried several times. Highly recommended. Thank you Irvin and Marilyn, forever alive in the hearts of all you have shared your life and work with, all of us so beautifully touched by you and Marilyn. I as a trainee therapist, book lover and avid reader of your work, as with others, you live in all of us and the generations we share with and after us, love is surely greater and transcends the blessings and gifts of this human life, evident from your life, and love of Marilyn and all x

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-04-21

Wonderful Work

Even in their most private life affairs, Irvine and Marilyn does not miss the opportunity to be of help to others in dealing with death. What a privilege to be a part of the most intimate life and love story of Marilyn and Irvine Yalom....

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-03-21

Deeply touching

This book is very intimate and profound, and has shed light into Irvin's private life. It is written with such honesty that empathizing with his grief is not hard.