A matter of death and life


Title: The problem of life and death

Authors: Ervin Yalom; Marilyn Yalom

Translator: Elham Sharif

Publisher: Nuandish

Subject: Psychiatrists – United States – Biography / Spouses of cancer patients / Myeloma – United States – Patients – Biography

Age category: Adult

Number of pages: 263

Language: Farsi

Categories: ,


The book A matter of death and life is a work by the therapeutic couple, Erwin D. Yalom and Marilyn Yalom, in which they write about love, separation, and what matters at the end of life. A beautiful, romantic, and sometimes painful biography that speaks to the end of life.

About the book The Problem of Life and Death
The issue of life and death is a metaphor that we always use about the importance of the issue, but this time the story is really about life and death. A beautiful story that describes the interesting memories of the therapeutic couple, Ervin Yalom and his wife Marilyn Yalom, and is written with a view to the end of life.

Materialist psychology may always ignore death or try to escape it. But the authors of this work have bravely faced the issue of aging and death that follows and have written their lives in short notes.
A life that is approaching this stage and must change accordingly. This book should be considered a great work in this field because it talks about the role of maturity and human experiences and gives us a perspective that may be a little different from the perspective of society.

To whom do we recommend the book The Problem of Life and Death?
We recommend the issue of life and death to all those who are interested in Yalom’s works. If you like to read and know about death, this book is for you.

About Ervin. د یالوم
Erwin David Yalom, an American existentialist psychiatrist, was born in 1931 in Washington. Erwin Yalom studied medicine and then psychiatry and later became a professor at Stanford University.

During his time as a professor at this university, he established the model of ontological psychology. Yalom has written numerous academic works during his lifetime and has several successful novels.
Erwin Yalom is best known for his psychological novels, especially the famous novel When Nietzsche Wept.

His other books include Spinoza, The Lying on the Sofa, Yalom Readers, Mom and the Meaning of Life, One-Day Creations, and Staring at the Sun.

Part of the book The Problem of Life and Death
For years I have cautiously approached retirement and tried it in small amounts. Psychotherapy has been my job all my life and it hurts to think of giving it up. I took the first step towards retirement when I decided to inform my patients in the first counseling session that I would only examine them for a year.

I hate leaving psychiatry for many reasons. Mostly because I enjoy helping others so much and I have learned it so well from my life so far. Another reason I’m a little embarrassed to tell it is that I miss listening to all those stories.
I have an insatiable desire to hear stories, especially those I can use in teaching and writing. I have loved stories since I was a child, and except for the years when I went to medical school, I always read books before going to bed.

Although writers such as Joyce, Nabokov, and Benoit amaze me, I wholeheartedly admire storytellers such as Dickens, Trollop, Hardy, Chekhov, Murakami, Dostoevsky, Aster, and McIwan.

Let me tell you a story about that moment when I realized I had to give up psychiatry.

A few weeks ago, on the fourth of July, just before four o’clock in the afternoon, I returned home from a party in a nearby park and entered my office. I was going to spend an hour answering my emails. As I sat at my desk, I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door and saw a beautiful, middle-aged woman.
I greeted him and said, “Hello, I’m Ervin Yalom. “Were you looking for me?”

“I’m Emily. “I was with a Scottish psychotherapist and I was with you at four o’clock today.”

My heart sank. Oh no! My memory was broken again.

I tried to stay calm and said, “Please, please.” “Let me look at my work schedule.” I opened my appointment book and was surprised to see the name “Emily” written in large letters at four o’clock in the afternoon. This morning it never occurred to me to check my work schedule. When my brain was working properly, of course, if it was working properly at all, I would not make an appointment with anyone on the fourth of July. The rest of my family was still celebrating in the park, and it was quite a chance for me to return early and be in my office when he came.

“I’m very sorry, Emily, but today is a national holiday. I had not checked my plans at all. “Did you come here from a distance?”
“Far away. Of course, my wife had to come to Los Angeles to work; “So I was in this part of the world today anyway.”

I was a little relieved: at least he had not come all the way from Scotland to meet only someone he did not remember. I tried to make her feel comfortable: I pointed to the chair. “Please sit down, Emily. I can spare my time and make an appointment with you now. But please forgive me for a few minutes. “I have to go and inform my family that no one should disturb me.”

I hurried home, about 30 meters from the office, and wrote a note to Marilyn about my unexpected appointment, picking up my hearing aids (I usually do not use them, but Emily was very quiet). I went back to the office. As soon as I sat down at my desk, I opened the laptop.
“Emily, I’m almost ready to get started, but it will take me a few minutes to re-read the email you sent me.” When I was searching my computer in vain to find Emily’s email, she cried out loud. I turned to him and he took the folded piece of paper he had taken out of his bag.

“This is the email you are looking for. “I brought it with me because five years ago, the last time we saw each other, you still could not find my email.” He continued to cry louder.

I read the first sentence of her email: “We’ve met in two different situations over the last ten years (four sessions in total) and you helped me a lot and …” I could no longer read: Emily is now crying out loud and “I’m invisible,” he said. I am invisible. “We saw each other four times and you still do not know me.”
I left his note with you and turned to him. There were tears on his face. He looked for a tissue in his bag but found nothing, and then reached for my tissue box on the table next to his chair, but it was empty. I had to go to the bathroom and bring him a few pieces of toilet paper that were still on the towel. I prayed he would not need a handkerchief any more.

As we sat in silence for a while, I realized the truth! It was at this point that I realized I no longer had the qualifications to continue my career. My memory was very weak. So I gave up my professional behavior, closed my laptop and turned to him. “Emily, I’m very, very sorry. “This meeting has been more like a nightmare so far.”

Excerpts from the book A matter of death and life:
– Marilyn and Erwin write so brilliantly that I feel like I lived that period with them. This book teaches us mortals how to prepare for separation. (Katherine Mannix, author of the best-selling book End in Mind: Death, Death, and Wisdom in the Age of Denial)

A book that, like Erwin and Marilyn Yalom, is great and extraordinary. (Arthur Kleinman, author of The Spirit of Care)

– An amazing and unforgettable romance, a book that explores the past and the present. (Joan Cachiatore, author of Tolerance for the Unbearable)
– Two eminent masters and lifelong partners, as they grapple with aging, vulnerability, and death, realize a deeper value in the face of life’s instability. (Frank Ostasski, author of Five Invitations: What Death Can Teach Us About Life)

– A profound love story with lessons on how to live and die. (Kirkus Reviews)

Index of the book

Chapter One: The Vital Box
Chapter Two: Invalidity
Chapter Three: Awareness of Instability
Chapter 4: Why Don’t We Go to a Nursing Home?
Chapter 5: Retirement: The exact moment of decision making
Chapter Six: Retreat and Drunk Wishes
Chapter 7: Staring at the Sun.
Chapter 8: After all, whose death is this?
Chapter 9: Facing the End
Chapter 10: Thinking about suicide with the help of a doctor
Chapter Eleven: Countdown to Thursday
Chapter Twelve: A Real Surprise
Chapter Thirteen: So Now You Know
Chapter Fourteen: The Death Sentence
Chapter 15: Farewell to Chemotherapy – and Hope
Chapter 16: From Palliative Medicine to Palliative Care
Chapter Seventeen: Palliative Care
Chapter 18: A Calming Illusion
Chapter Nineteen: French Books
Chapter 20: The End Is Near
Chapter Twenty-two: Death Comes
Chapter Twenty-two: The Posthumous Experience
Remember: a mourning for Marilyn
Chapter Twenty-three: The life of an independent adult
Chapter Twenty-four: Alone at Home
Chapter Twenty-Five: Sexual Desire and Sorrow
Chapter Twenty-six: Unreality
Chapter Twenty-seven: Numbness
Chapter Twenty-eight: Help from Schopenhauer
Chapter Twenty-eight: Denial Revealed
Chapter 30: Stepping Out
Chapter One: Doubt
Chapter Thirty-Two: About Reading My Books
Chapter Thirty-Three: Seven Advanced Lessons in Grief Treatment
Chapter 34: I am continuing my education
Chapter Thirty-Five: Dear Marilyn

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