This reading group guide for No One Has to Die Alone includes discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Lani Leary. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. What was your reaction to the introductory story of the death of Lani’s mother? What deaths or losses in your life did it remind you of?
2. In chapter 1, the author contends that, “Our fears and anxieties are the barriers to compassionate care,” and that those fears stem from one’s attitudes, assumptions, lack of experience, and lack of knowledge. When in your life’s story did you feel that you could not handle some experience of death, dying, or loss? What assumptions or lack of experience impeded you?
3. “There is no one right way to die” may challenge one of your assumptions. Discuss your “ideal death” and allow each other to describe and explain their preference.
4. Chapter 4 describes different roles that a caregiver might adopt. Which role(s) are you most comfortable with? Most trained for? Which would you want to avoid or feel uncomfortable with?
5. Leary feels strongly that denial can be an appropriate coping strategy at ti