A lesson people need to hear

Author Laura Allen publishes seventh book "The Days Still Left."
Sep. 15, 2013 @ 04:22 AM

Author Laura Allen has recently published her seventh book.

This book, "The Days Still Left" is a tribute to her friend, Nina McIntosh, who passed away from Lou Gehrig's disease in 2010.

“Nina had a wicked sense of humor, and she maintained that right up until the moment she could no longer communicate,” Allen said in a statement. “She was just an inspiration to so many people. We should all be so lucky as to die with the grace and dignity, and laughing all the way to the grave, the way she did.”

Allen said that she wrote the book because of a request from McIntosh's family. Allen owns THERA-SSAGE in Rutherfordton and says that McIntosh was one of the most famous teachers in the massage profession.

"She was known by thousands of people and had written an ethics column in one of our trade journals for several years. When she passed away, her family asked me if I would write a biography on her," Allen said.

Much of the book comes from CaringBridge.org where McIntosh chronicled her illness for family and friends. The site allows those with a terminal illness to create their own page and stay connected and receive support from friends and family.

"Part of the book is her journaling of her illness and you watch her lose her abilities because Lou Gehrig's doesn't destroy your mind it destroys your body. But she managed to keep communicating about two or three weeks before she passed," Allen said.

According to a press release, while Allen was in the process of writing the book, she wound up in the hospital with pneumonia. Allen says that made her realize she needed to get her own affairs in order.

In addition to McIntosh’s journal of her illness and ultimate passing 15 months after her diagnosis, Allen included sections in the book about getting your own end-of-life affairs organized.

“When your family is stunned and grief-stricken, that’s the last time they need to be burdened with trying to make difficult decisions,” Allen said in a statement. “We need to make those decisions for ourselves while we’re still of sound mind and body.”

Allen said the book reaches a broad audience because everyone needs to get their affairs in order.

"I'm really happy with how the book turned out," Allen said. "It's a lesson people need to hear."

"The Days Still Left" is available on Amazon.com. Signed copies may also be purchased at THERA-SSAGE.