Open access to ‘Watch with Me’ by Cicely Saunders

Published on: Author: David Clark 18 Comments
Cicely Saunders in 2005 by David Clark

I was delighted by the interest in Watch with Me following my recent post and set out to find a pdf of the 2005 version.

Fortunately it was still there on an old laptop. So here it is:   Watch with Me full text 2005 (PDF)  along with  Watch with Me cover details 2005 (PDF)

I trust that it will continue to be widely read and will benefit from this open access. Please let me know if you use it.

The full citation should read: Saunders, C (2005) Watch with Me: Inspiration for a life in hospice care. Lancaster: Observatory Publications.

David Clark

18 Responses to Open access to ‘Watch with Me’ by Cicely Saunders Comments (RSS) Comments (RSS)

  1. Dear Doctor David Clark,
    I want to inform You that I have just printed Cicely Saunders’ Watch with Me. I will study it deeply and deeply and I will write You again. But I want to tell You that there are two words which are fascinating me a lot: ‘Watch with Me means be there’ As a Professor of Linguistics and Aesthetics, I have been studying OncologicPain in PreverbalChildren in the field of non-pharmacological Care, the Behavioral, Emotional, Cognitive and Environmental Therapy. I am doing all my best in Memory of my Little Nephew, Giampaolo, I am Giampaolo’s aunt. He was born on the 5 March 2009 and he died on the 17th October 2010, at 19 months. He died because of the AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia. He had no Palliative Care. No Supportive Care But Pharmacological Care. I am doing for All The Other PreverbalOncologicChildren in the World what I was never permitted to be-and-do for my Little Nephew, because I am not a HealthCareProfessional.
    My best Regards to You,
    Luisella Magnani

    • Thank you so much Luisella for this sensitive and moving post. I am delighted that you are finding a way to hoonour the life of Giampaolo through your endeavours. My own youngest daughter was born in the same month as him, so I can identify with this very much. Please stay in touch and inform us of your endeavours. If you woudl like to prepare a full post for this blog that would be wonderful. Kind wishes David Clark

  2. Dear Professor Clark
    I have downloaded Watch with Me. I have read it before from a library but I’m pleased to have access to it. I’m interested in how it can help in thinking through the importance of co-presence, the ‘body’ and embodied selfhood in palliative care for people with advanced dementia. Many thanks for making it available.

    • Dear Julie, thank you for this. The open access facility for Watch with me is attracting a lot of interest and that is a real pleasure. Could you perhaps put together some of your ideas for a fuull post on the blog? I would very much like to have something on the theme of dementia. Kind regards David

  3. Dearest Professor Clark,
    We are building a hospice in Kuching, Malaysia. The Opening Ceremony is set on 22 June 2018 in memory of Dame Cicely Saunders. i am so grateful that You so generously make the access to “watch with me” possible on line !
    This book is the blue print of hospice !
    Our Good LORD Bless You, Professor, exceedingly abundantly !
    With Love and Respect,

    • Dear Lily, it is good to know about this. Please keep us informed of what you are doing. I wish you well in your endeavours. Every good wish. David Clark

  4. Dearest Professor Clark !

    Surely Professor its our pleasure ! if it is possible, it would be our utmost honour to have Your presence with us on the Opening in 2018- “Two Tree Lodge Kuching Hospice”
    To date, we have 3 arces of land donated, architects, engineers, builders, doctors, nursing trainer etc on board offering their expertise !

    i hope You know i am deeply grateful to have access to this book and have already pass this link on.

    Thank You again,

  5. I am the author of a book first published in Italy in February 2013 (L’amore, sempre IL SENSO DELLA VITA NEL RACCONTO DEI MALATI TERMINALI, Lindau, Torino, 2013 ISBN 978-88-6708-045-8), which I would like to submit to your attention with a view to publishing it in English. The original book in Italian has had three print runs in the first ten months and a second edition is now planned by Lindau by year end 2014. It was translated into French by Tiziana Stevanato and published in October 2014 by Carnets Nord under the title Prends mes mains dans les tiennes, with a preface by Marie de Hennezel ISBN 978-2-35536-148-7.
    This book presents an account of the support given to terminally ill patients. It results from the author’s experiences with suffering and death. It is a moving, though not at all pathetic, message of hope. Suffering and the end of life may create the conditions for profound encounters and for the development of solidarity, gratitude, friendship, dialogue and love.
    The experience of terminal illness is a challenge full of meaning for contemporary society and it can measure its ability to welcome, support and help people, even when their life is coming to end. But what happens in the wards where patients spend the last days or the last weeks of their lives? What stories intertwine, what dialogues are born, what feelings grow? The stories collected in this book reflect very different events and situations, but have one common trait: in the end, when gestures and words fatally begin to fade, only love remains. Patiently and sensitively listening to those who are leaving us can teach us a lot about the deeper meaning of life and death. Above all, it teaches us how best to live our own life to its very end.
    The Italian version of the book contains 50,000 words. It is currently being translated into English by Patricia Brigid Garvin. At the present time, a selection of chapters comprising about 70% of the whole book (excluding the appendices) is available in English.
    I would like to send you the two books in Italian and French and the available part translated into English to explore the possibility of having the book published with Observatory Publications.
    I am a volunteer in the palliative care unit of a hospital in Brussels and a board member of the Foundation for Palliative Care for the European Hospitals in Brussels. I am retired from my work as an industrial researcher, a civil servant at the European Commission, and a professor at the University of Bologna, Italy, and at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA.

    • Dear Atillio, it is fascinating to learn about your book and the excellent progress you are making with it. I do hope that you are able to find a publisher for the English edition. Unfortunately Observatory Publications is no longer in existence. Would you like to write a piece for this blog about your interests? Kind regards David Clark

  6. Dear Professor David Clark,
    I thank you for your answer and for the invitation to write a piece for your blog.
    It is drawn form my book currently published in Italian and in French as shown in

    People in the terminal phase of an illness are cumbersome, annoying, difficult and useless. Cumbersome with their technological bed, commode, armchair, walking frame, crutches, intravenous drips, catheters and drainage bag: there is no room for them at home. Annoying, with their coughing, wheezing, bad smells, bedsores, insomnia, continuous calls and countless needs. Difficult to manage with their repeated requests, obsessive complaining, and all the other evidence of our impotence. Useless to the economy because they no longer consume; useless to society, in which they have no role to play; and useless to the hospital industry since they do not help the wheels to turn. To sum up, people in the final phase of a terminal illness are of no use whatsoever, so let’s get it over with as soon as possible.
    If a request for euthanasia is the result of all this, then it would seem to respond more to the needs of the family, the health service and society than to the needs of patients. On the other hand, when requests for euthanasia do come from patients, in most cases it arises from the fear of pain and loneliness, the loss of status in society and the family, and the relationship that the caregivers have established with them. Yet such a request becomes superfluous and fades when the last phases in life are not dependent on the effectiveness of machines, and when – excluding any futile life-sustaining treatment – physical pain is removed or relieved and the last days are passed in the realm of dignity, personal relationships, friendships and the love that has given life its meaning. In these circumstances, death is no longer a defeat but a challenge to discover the ultimate meaning of life.
    Palliative care is the bulwark that the new medicine – a medicine that embraces scientific and technological progress, but which has also
    rediscovered the values and the oneness of the individual – erects against a law that legalises or decriminalises euthanasia. Beyond the clinical
    effectiveness of medical services, this new medicine focuses on caring for patients and their well-being.
    In a world of productivity, efficiency and competitiveness, in a society based on economic activity and superfluous consumption, where possessions and outward appearance count more than being, there is no room for reflecting on death. In this context, a ‘good death’ means a quick, painless and unconscious death; if possible, one that doesn’t disturb anyone: for instance, dying discreetly in one’s sleep.
    But if we agree to reject the frenetic activity of modern life , the efficiency of high- tech medicine, and propose palliative care instead; if we admit to our vulnerability and impotence and adopt a serene and accepting attitude, we can help the dying to experience death lucidly, assisting them in a context of relationships, respect, dignity and love in which they accept being loved and giving love, even though the ravages caused by their illness alter their appearance and cause them distress.
    The greatest desire of the dying is to have their needs and fears listened to; to be acknowledged as people who have relationships and a role they can still play, and who are respected for their dignity as people, neither compromised nor conditioned by their illness.
    People afflicted by a terminal illness teach us to be aware of our weakness, our vulnerability and our impotence. They help us to discover something that subverts our schemes, and they become a resource that aids us in our search for the meaning of life. They offer us – sometimes in spite of themselves – an example and a model: the progressive separation from everything in life that was central to their activities and concerns. They gradually free themselves from all the conditioning that cluttered their existence during the frenzied business of living, and help us to discover that, in the end, all that remains viable and indelible are our experiences and expressions of love. This includes love we have abandoned or betrayed, or love that ended badly or we are ashamed of, because every sincere expression of love reveals the mysterious universal Love, which is the source of life.

    From the preface by Marie de Hennezel
    Reading this book leads to the conviction that we should not miss this experience of assisting a loved one who is close to death. We should not be afraid. We should let our hearts speak; let our intuition guide our actions. We will discover unexpected resources in ourselves: a tenderness, a touch, a readiness to assist that, perhaps, we did not even believe ourselves capable of. In brief, we will emerge from this experience more generous and more human, because on the brink of death it is love that has the last word.

    I am looking for an English language publisher wishing to consider my book for publication. Any advice is welcome

  7. […] For a more detailed biographical account of her work please see Cicely Saunders: The founder of the Modern Hospice Movement by Shirley du Boulay (originally published 1984, updated and revised in 2007 by Marianne Rankin) or read her own reflections on her career in Watch With Me: Inspiration for a life in hospice care, published by Observatory Publications in 2005 and available to read online via the following link: […]

  8. I would like to download Cicely Saunder’s Watvh with me , please.
    I am writing in pastoral theology on dying and death. I have been impressed by what I have read of Dame Cicely. Thank you very much Prof Clark for your work in this are.

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