Final Gifts

By Maggie Callanan, Patricia Kelley,

Book cover of Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying

Book description

In this moving and compassionate classic—now updated with new material from the authors—hospice nurses Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life, drawn from more than twenty years’ experience tending the terminally ill.

Through their stories we come to appreciate the near-miraculous…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Final Gifts as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley were both hospice nurses when they wrote this book in 1992 and their book, having sold over 500,000 copies, is still a guide for those who find themselves in the presence of the dying.

The authors act as interpreters for the living and help them understand the language the dying often use. As a hospice social worker, it was not uncommon for me to hear the dying speak of packed suitcases or imaginary taxis pulling up to their doors.

This book helped me to engage with that language and to enter the altered reality that…

Nurses who tend to the dying will tell you that end-of-life dreams and visions are part of the natural dying experience. The authors are hospice nurses who witnessed the over-and-over repeating patterns of a process that now has a name: Nearing Death Awareness. Our culture doesn’t like to talk about dying, and end-of-life behavior is an unknown. The authors show that NDA can be comforting: The lucid dad who says, “My mother’s here!” But NDA behavior can sometimes be alarming, too – I discovered this to be true when my own mom was dying – and the great thing about…

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