Be Brave: A Wife’s Journey Through Caregiving
Author: Florrie Munat
Publisher: Fantail Pub LLC
Amazon: Paperback: $15.93 ISBN-10: 0999009206 Digital: Free ($6.00 suggested Tip)
Losing a spouse or a close family member is one of the most painful experiences any of us can face. It becomes even more difficult when we first must watch them go through years of suffering while struggling with a terminal illness. Florrie Munat watched her husband suffer from dementia for six years before he passed away. She chronicles the experience in her book, Be Brave: A Wife’s Journey Through Caregiving.
Munat and her husband, Chuck, were living a normal life together when suddenly, in 2003, he suffered a stroke. Florrie and her family were hopeful that Chuck would make a full recovery, but as months went by, any progress he made was usually followed with another setback. Chuck would be diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, which they previously knew nothing about. Florrie eventually realized that her life with Chuck would forever be different, as she would need to be his full-time caregiver and advocate, not knowing for how long.
Munat tells the story with great detail of her day-to-day struggle with Chuck. While the book held my interest the whole time, I still was able to get a sense of how long and exhausting her journey was. I felt sorry for her, yet I always sensed that she is a strong woman who rose to the occasion as much as we could expect any human being to do.
In the book, Munat does a great job portraying the emotional highs and lows that she felt throughout the six years of her husband’s illness. In particular, the book sheds light on how tiring and stressful it is for someone to take care of their spouse full-time and the importance of caregivers taking care of themselves so that they can be strong for their husband or wife. While Florrie missed the old Chuck, she learned to live with the new one who frequently forgot things or suffered from one physical ailment after another. Though it was a difficult time, it was not time wasted. Chuck continued to make an impact on his family and friends, even as his faculties were failing.
Besides the fact that this is an interesting story, the writing is strong and Munat impresses with her ability to remember many moments both before and after Chuck’s stroke. She portrays Chuck as a strong and caring man, and the fact that his body failed him late in his life doesn’t take away from the mark he left on those he met. While this is not a lighthearted read, it will be an insightful story for people in all stages of life.
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