Local therapist’s book offers end-of-life support

Grand Haven psychotherapist Terry Lanigan said she was in a fog after her mother died three years ago - just 17 days after being diagnosed with advanced cancer. That, Lanigan said, is when the chapter ideas for a book came streaming through.
Marie Havenga
Jan 5, 2012


Lanigan published “Hand in Hand Through the End of Life” three months ago. The book, which is available at Amazon.com, chronicles the lessons she learned from her elderly parents as they moved through the end stages of their lives.

The lessons range from helping choose a senior care facility to preparing for the final breath.

“I think millions of us are facing the challenges of how to care for elderly parents, and how you prepare for the emotions as well as the tasks,” Lanigan said. “Hopefully, the book gives some preparation for the emotional experience as well as for the practical aspects to be considered.”

Lanigan earned a master’s degree in social work at the University of Chicago and runs a private practice in Grand Haven. She moved to the Grand Haven area from New York City in 2007.

Her parents, Edith and Harry Bronner, relocated here after living in the Bronx for 70 years because they could no longer maintain their mobility and quality of life there.

“It was very interesting,” Lanigan said. “They were both German Jews. They had lived in New York since they were able to get out of Germany in 1938. The entire neighborhood was German-Jewish. The idea of them moving to a Midwestern town after all those years, it was an amazing thing to watch.”

Edith was 85 and Harry was 87 when they moved to a retirement home in West Michigan.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



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