The Times 

Walla Walla Hospice book club coming April 19


March 25, 2021

WALLA WALLA—In an attempt to normalize discussions regarding end-of-life, Walla Walla Community Hospice has started a book club. The structure of the club is relatively informal. Group members are encouraged to read a selection of the assigned book before each meeting and some thought-provoking questions are supplied ahead of time to guide the discussion.

According to Brad McMasters, Community Outreach Coordinator for Hospice, the discussion ends up being pretty organic and free-flowing. The questions just fill in the gaps.

The book clubs are open to the public and are currently being held on Zoom. Participants have represented all ages and have included a handful of Hospice employees. The diversity has offered multiple perspectives which have made discussions more interesting and offered further learning opportunities.

The first book club took place in early summer 2020 and the book was Bridging the Gap: Life Lessons from the Dying, written by Kimberly C. Paul. Paul, an end-of-life professional and TedX presenter, also hosts the podcast, "Death by Design.” She facilitated a virtual workshop for Hospice in May 2020 and then participated in the subsequent book club.

The book was a collection of personal stories and life lessons Paul had experienced as a hospice employee. The second club in fall 2020 featured the book, Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle. It tells the story of Norma Bauerschmidt’s last year of life traveling cross-country in a thirty-six-foot RV with her son and his partner, Ramie. The story was touching and meaningful and the group was delighted to host Bauerschmidt and Liddel for the final book club meeting.

On April 19th, Hospice will facilitate another book club. The book, As My Mother Lay Dying: A Tapestry Woven of Memories and Insights from the Bedside by Antonia Rolls. Rolls is a painter, writer, performer, public speaker, and works holistically with people facing dying, grief and loss.

The book not only covers the experience of a mother’s dying, but the deaths of all those family and friends gone before. Descriptive, moving, and honest, Rolls weaves stories of death, life, grief, and recovery to show us how a single death can unfold in love, and how loss and recovery can be tinged with beauty and understanding. The book captures the truth about death and what it means to honor the last months and weeks of life.

As in past clubs, the author will be joining the group for their final meeting. Though the first four meetings are held Monday nights from 7 to 8 pm, the final meeting will be on Saturday, May 15 at 10am to accommodate for the difference in time in the UK where the author lives.

Participants will supply their own book which can be ordered from a local bookstore or purchased online.

To register and receive the link to connect via Zoom, please email or call (509) 525-5561. To learn more, you can visit or follow the Facebook event.


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