When neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Stern’s sister, Victoria, was diagnosed with leukemia, it turned his world upside down – both personally and professionally.
In his book, Grief Connects Us: A Neurosurgeon’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion, Dr. Stern invites us on the journey through his sister’s illness and death, eloquently capturing the hope, uncertainty and heartbreak experienced by so many families when faced with the terminal illness of a loved one. The incorporation of Victoria’s journal entries throughout the text gives the reader additional insight into not only her renewed bond with her brother, but also her own fears and vulnerability. Throughout, a strong thread of hope weaves throughout their individual experiences, further strengthening their relationship and, ultimately, connecting them in their grief.
Dr. Stern joined us for a thoughtful discussion about his experiences guiding his sister through her illness, his grief following her death, and how those experiences transformed the approach he takes to caring for his own patients and their families.