NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Passionate advocate for end-of-life care and TikTok star Hadley Vlahos shares moving stories of joy, wisdom, and redemption from her patients’ final moments in this “brilliant” (Zibby Owens, Good Morning America) memoir.
“This extraordinary book helps dispel fear around death and dying—revealing it to be a natural part of our soul’s evolution.”—Laura Lynne Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Signs and The Light Between Us
Talking about death and dying is considered taboo in polite company, and even in the medical field. Our ideas about dying are confusing at best: Will our memories flash before our eyes? Regrets consume our thoughts? Does a bright light appear at the end of a tunnel? For most people, it will be a slower process, one eased with preparedness, good humor, and a bit of faith. At the forefront of changing attitudes around palliative care is hospice nurse Hadley Vlahos, who shows that end-of-life care can teach us just as much about how to live as it does about how we die.
Vlahos was raised in a strict religious household, but began questioning her beliefs in high school after the sudden death of a friend. When she got pregnant at nineteen, she was shunned by her community and enrolled herself in nursing school to be able to support herself and her baby. But nursing soon became more than a job: when she focused on palliative care and hospice work, it became a calling.
In The In-Between, Vlahos recounts the most impactful experiences she’s had with the people she’s worked with—from the woman who never once questioned her faith until she was close to death, to the older man seeing visions of his late daughter, to the young patient who laments that she spent too much of her short life worrying about what others thought of her—while also sharing her own fascinating journey.
Written with profound insight, humility, and respect, The In-Between is a heartrending memoir that shows how caring for others can transform a life while also offering wisdom and comfort for those dealing with loss and providing inspiration for how to live now.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Though death is universal, our culture isn’t great at dealing with it. Hospice nurse Hadley Vlahos is here to change that. She’s learned firsthand how surprisingly beautiful the end of life can be, and she illustrates this with 12 moving stories from her bedside career. One of our favorites involves a thirtysomething man named Adam whom Vlahos fought hard for, cutting through the hospital red tape so that his young wife could lie with him as he drew his final breaths. There’s a spiritual side to many of these end-of-life experiences, but we appreciated how Vlahos never preaches, leaving these emotionally charged vignettes to our own interpretation. Her book is full of the same warm, approachable energy that has made her a sensation on TikTok. The In-Between is a beautiful listen about loss and love.
Vlahos recounts her six-year stint as a hospice nurse in her often-moving debut memoir. When she became pregnant at 19, Vlahos intended to get an abortion, until she reluctantly attended a church service with her mother and was convinced to keep the baby. She pursued a career in nursing to support her son, and after coordinating hospice care for a patient whose scheduled provider flaked, was offered a position as a hospice nurse herself. Sharing experiences that complicated her once-agnostic ideas about death, Vlahos recalls how her supervisor insisted that a dying woman's visions of her deceased sister were not hallucinations but evidence that she was "crossing over." Another nurse claimed that dying people all "see the same thing" (their own deceased relatives) irrespective of "race, religion, or any other factor you could think of." Vlahos eventually witnesses similar occurrences with her own patients, and dubs the "powerful and peaceful" nonphysical space that lies between this world and "whatever comes next" the "in-between." Nonreligious readers may not glean much from this account, which veers into firmly faith-based territory, but Vlahos is a pleasant and earnest guide to the dying process. Readers anxious about their loved ones' end-of-life experiences will find comfort here.
Adored this book <3
Is an easy read even though the subject matter can be difficult for many people to process.
Great but TW should be in beginning
I really liked this book but major trigger warning for eating disorders. Wouldn’t recommend to anyone in early recovery.
What a great read