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The Language of Kindness: Christie Watson's Letter to the Reader

3rd May 2018 - Christie Watson

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The Language of Kindness 

Christie Watson's Letter to the Reader

 

The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson

Christie Watson's memoir of her twenty years as a nurse, The Language of Kindness, is a poignant and affecting account that highlights just how important small gestures of kindness are, and how they can bring comfort, hope and consolation. In her letter to the reader below, Christie explains why she felt compelled to write her story now and the conversation she hopes it will start.

We have a very limited number of signed copies, click here to check availability.

 


Why I Wrote 

 

I first had the idea to write The Language of Kindness five years ago. I’d been a nurse by then for many years but my dad was dying. I was on the other side of the fence. Watching my dad’s nurse, Cheryl, I began to truly understand the power of kindness. Nursing is so different from medicine. It cannot cure. But Cheryl offered my dad and our family something else. Something even more important perhaps. Dignity, peace, and love.

 

 

The Code of Professional Conduct is a list of rules that nurses in the U.K. must live by in order to stay registered. One clause states that nurses must remain objective and have clear professional boundaries with patients at all times. There is no objectivity in good nursing care. To nurse is to love. Cheryl loved my dad. And he loved her back. What an enormous privilege to hold the hand of a person at the frailest most significant and extreme moments of life. To be a nurse. Yet nursing is the most undervalued of all the professions. If how we treat our most vulnerable members is a measure of our society then the act of nursing itself is a measure of our humanity. I worry about this terrifying age in which we find ourselves, but in writing this, I didn’t want to shout. There is too much shouting and not enough listening. The stories I’ve focused on, I hope, explore what connects us. We are all afraid and fragile and vulnerable. We will all get old, or we will get sick and die. We share the same human fate.

 

 

I love reading the growing genre of medical memoirs, beautifully written by – mostly male – doctors. But although most of us will never come across a neurosurgeon, we will all be nursed at some time in our life, each and every one of us. And we will all nurse a loved one. And at that time love and kindness will be the only things that matter in the end. My hope for this book is that it’s part of a wider conversation, and a reminder that time flies, and life is precious. As Florence Nightingale said, 'Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small about it.'

 


Christie Watson Author Photograph (c) Peter Clark

Christie Watson was a registered nurse for twenty years before writing full time. Her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award and her second novel, Where Women Are Kings, was also published to international critical acclaim. Her works have been translated to fifteen languages. She lives in London.

was a registered nurse for twenty years
before writing full time. Her first novel,
Tiny
Sunbirds Far
Away
, won the Costa First Novel Award and her second
novel,
Where Women Are Kings
, was also published to
international critical acclaim. Her works have been
translated to fifteen languages. She lives in London.
was a registered nurse for twenty years
before writing full time. Her first novel,
Tiny
Sunbirds Far
Away
, won the Costa First Novel Award and her second
novel,
Where Women Are Kings
, was also published to
international critical acclaim. Her works have been
translated to fifteen la
nguages. S
he lives in London.

 

 

 

 

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