Death, Dying & Donuts

Death, Dying & Donuts

by Dr Colin Dicks

Death, Dying & Donuts is an immensely helpful and thought-provoking expose of the final acts of life. Using humour and powerful anecdotes, the subject of dying is presented in a balanced and palatable way.

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Death, Dying & Donuts is essential reading. If you read only one more book in your life, this should be it.

This is an immensely helpful and thought-provoking expose of the final acts of life. Using humour and powerful anecdotes, the subject of dying is presented in a balanced and palatable way.

As an oncologist, Dr Colin Dicks is well placed to comment on death, and although it has a cancer focus, this content has universal relevance. No stone is left unturned as the important physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of dying are explored.

Death, Dying & Donuts offers practical tips and strategies, including education for health care professionals and carers.

This book is not only about death and dying, it is also about donuts. Donuts are Colin’s invitation to enjoy life and to make the most of each day while possible. Life is much sweeter when death is normalised. Death, Dying & Donuts is the self-help book that will make a better tomorrow for you, today.

Colin Dicks grew up in the mining town of Orkney in South Africa. He completed his schooling at St. Stithians College in Johannesburg and started his medical training at the University of Pretoria. As a young man, Colin had an extraordinary number of encounters with death. He witnessed his first death in his teens while at the local swimming pool, where a young man fell off an unprotected grandstand and died instantly. Following this experience, and by the age of 24, Coling was witness to three separate motor vehicle deaths and a death at a wedding. He was also exposed to death as a medical student. Death was a topic that Colin could not avoid.After completing his medical training and compulsory military training, Colin and his wife Mathilde, spent a year in Hull, UK. After this experience in the oncology department, Colin returned to South Africa to specialise. He completed his training as a Radiation Oncologist in 1998 and shortly after that moved to New Zealand for a two-year adventure. Colin completed a diploma of Palliative Medicine while in New Zealand and his two-year adventure turned out to be a fantastic five-year experience. Colin and his family returned to South Africa in 2003.As an Oncologist, Colin became aware of the lack of conversation around death and dying and this led him to write his first book About Dying: how to live in the face of death. It was well received but it lacked what Colin viewed as substance. Following his research project on death education and with a colleague and a friend both facing terminal illness, Colin started writing on death, using the writing to express his views about the dying process. His friend and colleague never got to read the book, but Colin hopes there may be others who get to read this book and that it will make a difference in the way they live their life and complete their life.Colin continues to work on the Sunshine Coast as a Radiation Oncologist. He is also the founder of Dying to Understand, a charity promoting death education. He can be reached via the charity at Outside of work, Colin has a ‘full-time job’ as a husband to his beautiful wife Mathilde, a father to four fantastic adult children, and a labourer on his acreage on the Sunshine Coast.

Publisher: Star Label Publishing

Language: English

Paperback: 254 pages

Print ISBN: 9780645369724

E-book ISBN: 978-0-6484602-6-8

Even as a physician of 50 years’ standing, I found I was woefully unprepared to cope with the short illness and death of my wife. Colin allowed me to review the manuscript during the last days of my wife’s illness, and I found it immensely helpful. This book will enable the dying and the soon-to-be-bereaved to face the reality of dying with humanity. We can aspire to a “good death” for our loved ones and ourselves.

Dr John Clements AM

Dr Colin offers a unique perspective on an experience we all must face. Sensitive, yet intensely practical; beautifully kind, yet directly addressing the fears we all have; this book is essential reading for both carers and those dying. It is written by a man who walks this road every day, and hence is uniquely qualified to equip every person for their personal journey into death. I recommend this to every person facing death that I know, and the knowledge Colin shares brings great comfort and direction to all who are preparing to face


Pastor Darin Browne

Death, Dying & Donuts is essential reading to prepare yourself for the full journey of life from birth to death…and helped me understand much more clearly the journey that my ageing parents are travelling, thank you Colin.

Larissa Meyer

With years of experience, deep empathy and a gentle sense of humour Dr Dicks takes you by the hand and guides you on the difficult path of death and dying. Whether it is for you, or somebody close to you, this book enables you to navigate the unfamiliar terrain that comes with death and dying emotionally, spiritually, physically and practically. With Dr Dicks accompanying you every step along the way, Death, Dying and Donuts is an essential resource that shouldn’t be missed.

Anna-Marie Lombard

Are you or a loved one faced with the reality of death and dying? Finding yourself asking questions such as, “Why me? What is true? Where do I come from? Where will I go? What is valuable to me? In my professional opinion, as a counsellor and psychotherapist and with my personal experience as a daughter who lost her mother to cancer at a young age, I can highly recommend this book to everyone who is confronted with the existential questions surrounding death and dying. This book will not only give you the confidence to talk about an inevitable and challenging topic namely death, but it will also help you understand the normal challenges faced and even make it a more bearable process. Furthermore, it may help anyone in their search for the meaning of such suffering when faced with difficult choices. Victor Franklyn wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, “Once an individual’s search for a meaning is successful, it not only renders him happy but also gives him the capability to cope

with suffering” (p.14). I do believe this book was inspired and am grateful that Colin Dicks rose to this challenge when he wrote this book as I believe it will help many others.

Henrietta Oosthuizen, Counsellor, Family Therapist, Psychotherapist, Supervisor, Trainer, and Assessor.