"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

“The Four Things That Matter Most”

Jun 17, 2024 by Eileen Adler

To my dear friends,

With a very heavy heart, I want you to know that my husband died on June 11, 2024, at 11:00 pm. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2003. I learned so much through our journey. The book I am sharing in this blog has been so valuable, a way to say all the things I wanted to say but wasn’t sure how. This is what we both wanted - a peaceful goodbye. 


“The Four Things That Matter Most” by Dr. Ira Byock.



Four phrases:




These eleven words carry enormous power to nurture our relationships and inner lives, guiding us through life with integrity and grace. Expressed in four short sentences, they have a profound impact on relationships at end-of-life and for care givers. The guidance of these words has enabled me to say the things to my husband, sons, and family, that may have been overlooked or simply forgotten.


On Being with Krista Tippett” podcast, dated April 26, 2012, featured an interview with Dr. Ira Byock. The introduction includes: “Ira Byock is a leading figure in palliative care and hospice in the United States. He says we lose sight of “the remarkable value” of the time of life we call dying if we forget that it’s always a personal and human event, and not just a medical one. From his place on this medical frontier, he shares how we can understand dying as a time of learning, repair, and completion of our lives.”


An aside: I knew the name “Byock” sort of sounded familiar, but it took some time to parse it out. I read the back flap of his book and it mentioned that he named one of his daughters Molly. Dr. Byock’s sister, with the same name, attended the same high school we attended, and Molly was a graduating senior with my husband in 1964! I graduated the next year. Ira attended high school with my husband’s twin brothers, graduating in 1969.