Coping Courageously by Delia Chiaramonte, MD, MS

May 17, 2024
2 min
Dr. Rick Aizpuru, VP Clinical Solutions

Most of us have read books which have made a lasting impression upon us in our personal exploration of serious illness care and death and dying. 

As we know, storytelling is an essential part of hospice and palliative medicine. Delia Chiaramonte in her new book Coping Courageously, A Heart Centered Guide for Navigating a Loved One’s Illness Without Losing Yourself has given us a meaningful, sensitive, and very practical guide to help us all deal with many of life’s challenges.

She transparently shares her personal story of dealing with her daughter’s post traumatic injury. The book is based on her career as an integrative palliative medicine physician. She kindly shares her personal journey of handling her daughter’s post traumatic recovery, unexpected family tragic loss, and the various clinical examples of her brave (anonymized) patients. She is an excellent storyteller who deftly weaves her stories with great teaching pearls along the way. The book can serve an excellent guide for families and caregivers to manage the maze of serious illness. Delia has written a great book to learn how to best cope with the challenges we face not only when caring for loved one’s with serious illness, but also learning to live life on life’s terms. She dedicates time in the work to the value of “being present,” utilizing great memes.

In the few months since being published, this book is quickly becoming an essential guide for caregivers and families to help cope with challenges of being a caregiver. She has provided splendid advice on self care and to make sure to “Fill up Your Own Cup.”

There are three parts to the book which serve as guideposts for caregivers. Each chapter ends with reflective highlights of the preceding chapter. Delia writes in simple, plain English! Clearly Delia is a straight shooter who is very transparent and straightforward in her word choices. The first chapter for example is “Find Flowers in the Poop," and ends with reflections of “when in your life have you been able to find flowers in the poop?”

In Part One, she provides a combination of stories and outcomes as individuals navigate challenges and take bold action in caring for loved ones with serious illness. In Part Two, cultivate growth and build resilience, there are chapters which have multiple pearls of advice and mechanisms to increase resilience and to build Strategies to best manage the challenges associated with caregiving. In Part Three, Delia shares her experience in nurturing, authentic and meaningful connections. This portion of the book serves as a great guide for having courageous conversations, avoiding negative positivity, and leaning into love.

She dedicates an excellent chapter on Advance Care Planning and the importance of creating these documents for oneself as well as their loved ones. The Thanacare platform allows clinicians to easily complete these documents utilizing multiple sessions, portability, and a digital registry for storage. Delia ‘s work provides important tools for people who are facing some of life’s most difficult challenges. The book is well written, easy to read, and I would recommend it to become part of everyone’s armamentarium who’s involved in hospice and palliative medicine.

In the future, I anticipate that coping courageously by Delia Chiaramonte will become one of the essential readings for those interested in hospice and palliative medicine.

If you are interested in starting a conversation about what matters most when it comes to your care wishes, schedule with Thanacare today.