Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Review: Final Gifts

Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan

Review of Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying
by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley

Can you imagine how you would feel if your death were imminent? What would you fear? Look forward to? What would you regret? Need?

Not many of us could anticipate our answers to these questions. Plus, everyone’s answers would be somewhat different. Yet it’s likely we’ll be attending a loved one whose death is near. How can we empathize? Since the loved one has not experienced this before, he or she is not practiced in communicating all the above feelings, so how can we interpret what he or she does say?

In Final Gifts, experienced hospice workers Callanan and Kelley help us read between the lines of our loved ones dreams, odd-sounding requests, and nonsensical utterings. They warn us not to dismiss such communication as simply confused. And they educate us in the language of nearing death awareness and help us understand the manifestations of grief in others and ourselves. Through stories of compassionate interactions of family, hospice workers, and dying people, we learn how to make our dying loved ones’ last days with us more meaningful.

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