Bloomsbury Publishing How to Say Goodbye
Bloomsbury Publishing How to Say Goodbye

How to Say Goodbye

By Wendy MacNaughton


Publication Date: July 18, 2023

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New York Times–bestselling artist Wendy MacNaughton shares wisdom from hospice caregivers: how to be, when to help, what to say-with full-color drawings throughout.

As artist-in-residence at the Zen Hospice Project Guest House in San Francisco, Wendy MacNaughton witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to know what to do when we're sharing final moments with a loved one. In this tenderly illustrated guide to saying goodbye, MacNaughton shows how to make sure those moments are meaningful. Using a framework of “the five things” taught to her by a professional caregiver, How to Say Goodbye provides a model for having conversations of love, respect, and closure: with the words “I forgive you,” “Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” “I love you,” and “Goodbye,” each oriented toward finding mutual peace and understanding when it matters most.

With a foreword by renowned physician and author BJ Miller, and practical resources, How to Say Goodbye features MacNaughton's drawn-from-life artwork from both the Zen Hospice Project Guest House and her own aunt's bedside as she died, paired with gentle advice from hospice caregivers on creating a positive sensory experience, acknowledging what you can't control, and sharing memories and gratitude. A poignant guide to embracing the present and deepening relationships during great vulnerability, How to Say Goodbye shows that just as there is no one right way to live a good life, there is no one right way to say goodbye. Whether we're confused, scared, or uncertain, this book is a starting point.

About the Author

Wendy MacNaughton is a New York Times–bestselling artist, illustrator, and graphic journalist with a degree in social work who combines these practices to tell the stories of people who are often overlooked. She has illustrated and/or authored eleven books, including Salt Fat Acid Heat, The Gutsy Girl, and Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in Its Own Words. Her visual storytelling series Meanwhile was the New York Times’s first weekly drawn journalism column. The creator of DrawTogether and co-founder of Women Who Draw, she lives in the Bay Area with her wife, the author Caroline Paul. More at

Format: Hardcover with dust jacket

Length: 128 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Publication Date: July 18, 2023

ISBN: 9781639730858

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