Imagine life with death as a constant companion. It quietly sits next to you, coloring thoughts, feelings and words, utterly transforming your outlook on life. When Bruce H. Kramer was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an always fatal neurological disease, the doctor who broke the devastating news thought he was giving Kramer a death sentence. It turned out to be a life sentence.
The perspective and insights offered in We Know How This Ends reveal this daily reality and inspire a way forward for anyone who has suffered major loss and for anyone who surely will. Rather than wallowing in sadness and bitterness, anger and denial, Kramer accepted the crushing diagnosis. The educator and musician recognized that if he wanted a meaningful life, embracing his imminent death was his only viable option. His decision was the foundation for profound personal reflection and growth, even as his body weakened, and inspired Kramer to share and teach the lessons he was learning from ALS about how to live as fully as possible, even in the midst of devastating grief.
At the same time Kramer was diagnosed, broadcast journalist Cathy Wurzer was struggling with her own losses, especially the slow descent of her father into the bewildering world of dementia. Mutual friends put this unlikely pair - journalist and educator - together, and the serendipitous result has been a series of remarkable broadcast conversations, a deep friendship, and now this book.
Written with wisdom, genuine humor, and down-to-earth observations, and read with warmth, honesty and compassion by Cathy Wurzer and Bruce's son, David Emerson-Kramer Hollins, this audiobook of We Know How This Ends is far more than a memoir. It is a dignified, courageous, and unflinching look at how acceptance of loss and inevitable death can lead us all to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
©2015 Bruce Kramer and Cathy Wurzer (P)2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota