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Final Conversations: Helping the Living and the Dying Talk to Each Other Hardcover – March 25, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderwyk & Burnham; 1 edition (March 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1889242306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1889242309
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Addresses a sensitive subject in a professional and deeply human way [and] exudes integrity -- Moshe Landsman, PsycCRITIQUES, American Psychological Association

Contrary to what you might think, this book is not sad or mundane but rather uplifting and insightful. -- Sonia von Matt Stoddard, Awareness Magazine

Good, straightforward advice is balanced well with the touching experiences shared by the contributors...The directness is refreshing. -- Library Journal

Will particularly help aging baby boomers whose parents are nearing the end of their lives...easing the transition for both. -- Alan Caruba, BookViews

From the Publisher

Three-time award winner: Book of the Year in consumer health (American Journal of Nursing), Silver award in self-help (Foreword magazine), Bronze award in Aging/Death & Dying (Independent Publisher)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
71%
4 star
14%
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14%
See all 7 customer reviews
I wholeheartedly recommend this book for both professionals who must deal with death, and the family and friends of dying loved ones.
Susi
After reading this several times now, each time I learn something different about myself and my conversations with those I've lost and loved.
Victoria M. Flores
The authors have divided the book into several themes that emerged out of their interviews with people who have had a final conversation.
Joyce Plansky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Plansky on June 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a treasure chest of stories and recollections of those who have participated in final conversations with loved ones. Those stories and recollections are told in the actual voices and words of those recounting their final conversations. And that's what makes this book so compelling. It is packed full of wisdom, insights, and inspiration from people who have experienced this final conversation. Those who have been there share the rewards, blessings, and impact on their own lives that these final conversations have had.

The authors have divided the book into several themes that emerged out of their interviews with people who have had a final conversation. Those themes include messages such as saying good bye, saying I love you, talking about everyday things and reminiscing, sharing spiritual messages, using non verbal communication to communicate, and healing damaged relationships. It shows that you can approach the final conversations in a variety of ways and address a variety of needs. And it clearly shows that any of these methods may be effective and rewarding for both the person in the final stages of his or her life and for the person left behind.

Most people, when asked, report that they want an opportunity to talk with a loved one at least one more time. This book helps you gain the insight, courage, confidence, and skill to have a rewarding final conversation---one that leaves you with no regrets, that mends old hurts caused by a difficult relationship, and/or that makes certain that you maintain and nurture the relationship until the very end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Victoria M. Flores on May 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
After reading this several times now, each time I learn something different about myself and my conversations with those I've lost and loved. Unfortunately, I've recently experienced a death in my family and this book came in very handy. It's true, there weren't many if any books I encountered that helped me through the final days. It's uncanny how the two authors capture the voice of every individual they interviewed and brought every memory shared back to life. It's remarkable and a book I recommend to everyone. I know everyone's experiences are different, but all can benefit from this. Although your experience may be different, there are so many similarities people can identify with. Take comfort in knowing that not just the authors, but those interviewed have walked down the path you may walk down one day and know that those who went before you are there to help guide you through this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reader Views on April 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Tyler R. Tichelaar for Reader Views (4/07)

"Final Conversations" by Keeley and Yingling is a long overdue book in the field of grief and death literature. Most books about death deal with grief or the death process; this book helps the grief process before death occurs so that interaction with the dying is a meaningful experience that leaves no regrets for the living.

Keeley and Yingling interviewed eighty-two people about their experiences with the dying and how they talked to their loved ones before the end. "Final Conversations" is primarily advice about how to talk to a dying loved one in a way that brings comfort to both the dying and the living. This conversation is referred to as "F-C talk" or final conversations talk. The book enlarges "conversation" to mean communication, be it verbal or by touching and body language. Different examples are proposed regarding how to say "I love you" or how to express love, if the words are difficult to say, by non-verbal communication, such as taking care of business for the dying, touching, and just spending time.

The book is broken into several chapters on different conditions that mark "F-C talk," most notably how people deal with a death based on age--whether the person having the conversation with the dying is a child of a dying parent or grandparent, a teenager, someone middle-aged, or an elderly spouse. One of the most interesting sections was on spiritual messages--signs that the dying may be partially in communication with the life beyond, or signs after they died that they had come back to give a message or in some way comfort those left behind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susi on January 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Final Conversations" was just named a Book of the Year 2007 in the Consumer Health Category by the American Journal of Nursing. As a nurse educator myself, I found it most useful in understanding what family members and friends go through when trying to say goodbye to a loved one. "What should I say?" is a common question and judging from the interviews Keeley and Yingling conducted with over 80 people about their final conversations, I can answer with confidence: "Start with `I love you' and see where it goes from there." The authors found common themes to these conversations, such as spirituality, everyday concerns, and forgiveness, but love was the most frequent and enduring theme. As useful as the book is for those in nursing, palliative and hospice care, it is primarily a readable and helpful resource for those facing the death of a loved one.

As the child of a loved parent in failing health, I found the vignettes real, heartfelt, and gripping. Told by real people who have already been there with a dying loved one, these stories tell us 1) that every final conversation is unique and 2) that we each can face those last interactions and do it well. In particular, the "advice to the living" found at the end of each chapter will both inform and inspire those who want to say a good goodbye. I wholeheartedly recommend this book for both professionals who must deal with death, and the family and friends of dying loved ones.
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