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Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying Paperback – February 14, 2012
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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.
“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
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For just one example, at one point while mostly non-verbal, she kept repeating,"I'm stuck". I knew from the book and from observation of her position that she was not physically stuck, but emotionally stuck on some unfinished business. I gently talked her through some ways she might be feeling stuck. There were grievances she had held for decades that she needed to release to get unstuck. Prior to this, she consistently had a frowning face while she slept. After this conversation and hands-on prayer for her inner healing to get unstuck, she had a surprised look on her sleeping face, then smiled in her sleep several times. When she awoke, I asked her if she felt like she had gotten unstuck and she smiled and nodded her head. Clearly a profound shift had happened. Others in the room noticed it too.
Other family members who visited for long stretches (especially when staying with her through the night) also read it and felt it was very helpful.
I'm so grateful to have had this resource to know how to support my mom during this inner struggle, and to help her though it effectively and confidently.
Most recent customer reviews
Someone recommended I purchase and read this and oh were they so right.
it assists in remembering to be grateful.Read more