Official site of JANE BRODY




Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond

A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally and Emotionally for the End of Life

Praise for Jane Brody’s

Guide to the Great Beyond

“We’re all going to die some day, so we might as well do it right. Jane Brody, a master of information and storytelling, does that in her wonderful and enjoyable new book. This is for everyone who doesn’t like the subject–and for everyone else as well. ”
–Betty Rollin, author of Last Wish and Here’s the Bright Side

“Jane Brody teaches us how to go smartly into the good night, holding our loved one’s hands, heads held high.”
–Dan Shapiro, Ph.D., Arnold P. Gold Professor of Medical Humanism, Penn State College of Medicine

PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY has given Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond a STARRED review!

“In her inimitably straightforward, informative and intelligent manner, New York Times health columnist Brody (Jane Brody’s Good Food Book) gives pragmatic direction to a concerned yet reluctant readership in this essential travel guide for the journey toward the inevitable. In pointing out that there is a difference between sensibly learning to accept death and surrendering, she reminds us that our attitude about living colors our approach to death. Thoroughly outlining all attendant demands and details for facing one’s end, Brody provides facts and support for families and patients, and makes it appear entirely possible to “go with grace.” With bulleted lists itemizing what needs to be done and how to do it, short portraits and anecdotes throughout, Brody covers the importance of preparation; the necessity of an advance directive and why a living will is not enough; funeral plans; living with a bad prognosis and dealing with uncertainty; caregiving; hospice; communicating with doctors; assisted dying; organ donation and autopsy; and legacies. An instructive, inspiring and reassuring work full of compassion and humor (along with several cartoons from various New Yorker illustrators), this volume belongs on every family’s bookshelf. (Jan.)”–Publisher’s Weekly


From the beloved columnist, trusted authority on health, and bestselling author comes this complete guide to everything you need to know—emotionally, spiritually, and practically —to prepare for the end of life. An invaluable road map to putting your affairs in order—or helping your loved ones do the same—this comprehensive book will answer virtually every question you might have about what does and does not help smooth the transition between life and the Great Beyond. Wise, sensible, and characteristically straightforward throughout, Brody advises on:

  • the intricacies of a well-thought-out (and fully spelled-out) living will that health care practitioners readily understand—and how to designate a health care proxy

  • planning a funeral or memorial to ensure that your wishes are followed, including tips on how to reduce expenses

  • discussing prognoses and treatments with doctors.
    your options for controlling pain, shortness of breath, bed sores, and other physical symptoms—plus the facts on feeding tubes

  • receiving the support you need through hospice care—and suggestions for loved ones and friends who want to help

  • lightening and enlightening your trials by incorporating spirituality into your life

  • understanding what happens, physically and mentally, when death is imminent, and recognizing when hand-holding and reassurance, not food or drink or an oxygen mask or CPR, is the proper course of action

  • easing your way through the journey of grief by admitting the reality of the loss, showing your emotions, and allowing yourself the time you feel you need

No matter your age or current health, preparing for the inevitable when you are still fully in control of your faculties ensures that you’ll be in a far better position to enjoy the time you have left. As Brody notes, “From the start, consider the finish.”