From Kirkus Reviews
Impressive insights into the experience of dying, offered by two hospice nurses with a gift for listening. The ``final gifts'' of the title are the comfort and enlightenment offered by the dying to those attending them, and in return, the peace and reassurance offered to the dying by those who hear their needs. Callanan and Kelley describe a phenomenon they term ``Nearing Death Awareness''--which resembles somewhat the near-death experience sometimes reported by individuals revived after being clinically dead. Nearing Death Awareness, however, develops slowly, and the dying person seemingly drifts for a time between two worlds. Attempts by the dying to communicate about this awareness, often expressed in symbolic language or gestures, may be misunderstood by those around them, who dismiss the expressions as mere ``confusion.'' According to the authors, dying messages fall into two categories: descriptions of what they are experiencing (such as the places they see, the presence of others no longer alive, or their knowledge of when death will occur) and requests for what the dying need for a peaceful death (a reconciliation, for instance, or the removal of some barrier to departure). To illustrate, Callanan and Kelley include numerous examples of Nearing Death Awareness from their years of caring for the dying. And they offer practical advice not only to involved family members but also to professional caregivers on how to recognize, understand, and respond to a dying person's messages. No lugubriousness or false cheerfulness here, but acute observations and astute advice on a difficult topic. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A treasure–clear, authentic, responsible, and profoundly moving.” —Sandol Stoddard, author of The Hospice Movement
“Beautifully written, illuminating and reassuring…Final Gifts
is truly a gift to us all.” —Judy Tatelbaum, author of The Courage to Grieve
“These richly told stories enable us to respond to the dying in new and authentic ways.” —Ira R. Byock, M.D., author of Dying Well: The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life
“Impressive insights into the experience of dying, offered by two hospice nurses with a gift for listening…They offer practical advice not only to involved family members but also to professional caregivers on how to recognize, understand, and respond to a dying person’s messages.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A hopeful, helpful work…provides a gentle way to think about the unthinkable.”—Publishers Weekly
“A treasure…‘must’ reading for anyone working with the dying, or living with a dying person or life-threatening illness, or thinking about the process.”—Vital Signs
“Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley have garnered a wisdom and sensitivity, and cultivated a keen observation that only the dying could teach.”—Sunrise
“Insightful. Final Gifts
is a significant contribution. Experienced hospice nurses Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley shed important light on human experience at the end of life. I highly recommend this helpful book to all who care for the dying.”—Dr. Balfour Mount, Professor of Palliative Medicine, McGill University
“Irrespective of belief system, age or diagnosis of the dying person, Final Gifts
conveys the awe and profundity of the moments surrounding death that we all feel.” —Madalon Amenta, R.N., M.D., Public Health Editor of The Hospice Journal