Praise for After the Diagnosis: A Guide for Living
…Lynch and Mariconda’s broad-based, narrative-driven work ranges from absorbing accounts of encounters with dying men and women…to engaging meditations on the human reluctance to think about death. The string of personal anecdotes well-illustrates the variety of reactions people have when encountering the final months of their lives; these stories form a vital counterpoint to the authors’ more philosophical thoughts on the subjects of terminal illness, dying, death, and the meaning of life, which is never far from the main current of the book: “We’re all, in varying degrees, handicapped by the rubble that litters the inner fields of our hearts.” An expansive, richly sympathetic book about the last and least-understood phase of life.
No one escapes the trials and tribulations of life. For me, it was cancer with life-threating complications. Fr. Tom Lynch and Barbara Mariconda have skillfully crafted a guide for walking this harrowing path. The mystery of God’s saving power is evident in the well laid out practical tools and touching witness stories. This profound work gives readers the courage, faith, hope, and resolve to walk this journey with loved ones in a meaningful, life-giving way. It’s never too late to start – After the Diagnosis: A Guide for Living can change everything.
THE MOST Reverend Frank Caggiano
Bishop, Diocese of Bridgeport
In a world that misunderstands the mystery of serious sickness, Father Tom Lynch and Barbara Mariconda have masterfully narrated a path that offers healing and hope for anyone who is seriously ill. Through their keen insights, personal stories and spiritual wisdom, After the Diagnosis: A Guide for Living provides its readers with all the tools needed to seek personal healing and to understand suffering as a catalyst for a renewed life filled with zeal, purpose and an appreciation of the present moment as a gift. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has received a diagnosis of serious illness and wishes to seek healing and hope. I also commend it to anyone who desires to learn how to live life fully, one day at a time.
Anne Dichele, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Education, Quinnipiac University
After the Diagnosis is a profoundly affecting book both for the seriously ill person and for the caregiver. After my sister received a terminal diagnosis, I found After the Diagnosis to be my guidepost, helping me to hold the difficult conversations around death, providing me a handbook for what to expect both physically and emotionally as my sister weakened, and most importantly, teaching me how to be present to this experience in a way that was life-giving and ultimately, transformative. After the Diagnosis is a must read for any caregiver who desires to experience the dying process of those they dearly love as a time of deep connection, love and peace. An extraordinary book of insight, practicality and spiritual connection.
Father Carl Arico
Founding Member of Contemplative Outreach, author of The Gift of Life, Death and Dying - Life and Living program with Thomas Keating, and author of A Taste of Silence, Centering Prayer and the Contemplative Journey
As I pondered the profound and practical wisdom that Barbara and Father Tom laid out for you, Robert Frost’s poem The Road not Taken came to mind. After The Diagnosis:A Guide for Living gives us the choice to rethink all our previous notions about the dying process and shows us how choosing the road less traveled can make a difference in our lives and the lives of our loved ones.
Lenore Snowden-Opalak M.D.
Internal Medicine, Compassionate Care Award Recipient
Let After the Diagnosis: A Guide for Living unfold for you the beauty and infinite depth of love that can be found in even the most difficult, darkest times in our lives. Father Tom Lynch’s and Barbara Mariconda’s book is a trusted companion to help us find meaning and value in suffering and loss, the path (not always easy) that God is calling us to accept and share in the totality of His love. At a time when medical treatment can become overwhelming, the wisdom and guidance provided by Fr. Tom and Barbara help us cut through the noise and clutter, to discover our ultimate purpose, and to learn that our most important work still lies ahead.
Mary Margaret Fiscella, R.N.
I was recently invited to read Fr. Tom and Barbara’s book After the Diagnosis: A Guide for Living. Being in good health, with things going well in my life, I wondered what was in it for me. As I read, it became apparent - this book is for anyone who wants to enrich and deepen their experience of life - to love more deeply, forgive freely, experience hope and joy, to be at peace with self, and one with God. The more I read, the more I saw its relevance. I have truly been transformed by this book. After reading it, I decided to purchase copies for all those I love - my husband, my children, my friends. And I urge you to do the same.
Author of Did I Die? Managing the Mayhem of Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Guide to Peace and Quality of Life
Quite by chance I met Fr. Tom Lynch and Barbara Mariconda. A few days later we were sitting in my living room chatting about After the Diagnosis: A Guide for Living. After reading the book I put it to immediate use with a friend, now 92, who said to me, "I have lived too long, I am worried and cannot see ahead.” Well...that was my opening to talk about Father Tom and Barbara’s book. Their advice is dead on right. It is inspirational, practical, pulls no punches, and opens the dialogue without offending beliefs in any religion. We need a wider forum for discussing the challenging issues after receiving a diagnosis – a journey we each are destined to take from the day of our births. This book carries the discussion to new heights and helps the patient and loved ones live life to the fullest while facing the realities of dying and death.
Reverend Thomas Boland
Retired Pastor, Former President of National Association of Family Life Ministers, Marriage and Family Counselor, Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky.
Tom Lynch knows a thing or two about death and dying. For over 30 years he has pastored a large urban Catholic parish. He has ministered to countless individuals and families in the clutch of death or terminal illness. He has learned how to lead them to escape the paralyzing grip of denial and to discover in their own stories traces of the great Christian story of redemption, love and life eternal. In After the Diagnosis: A Guide for Living Father Lynch shares the gentle humor and unflinching honesty that have led so many to face the mystery of death with Christian hope and peace. His experience and insights provide a pastoral toolkit for priests and others who minister to the dying.
Bridget Pardee, R.N.
Just as we prepare for many events in our lives, we need to prepare for our own final journeys. After the Diagnosis provides detailed insights into our faith, and teaches us how to fully embrace our lives now, regardless of where we find ourselves. I wish I’d had this book during my years as a caregiver for aging parents, and throughout my career as an emergency room and surgical nurse. It would have given me the tools to better understand what the terminally ill and their loved ones were going through, emotionally and spiritually. The Reverend Thomas F. Lynch and Barbara Mariconda remind us that God is always there for us, waiting with open arms.