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Final Gifts [Paperback]

4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Oct 1998
Five years after its first publication, with more than 150,000 copies in print, Final Gifts has become a classic. In this moving and compassionate book, 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 ways in which the dying communicate their needs, reveal their feelings, and even choreograph their own final moments; we also discover the gifts—of wisdom, faith, and love—that the dying leave for the living to share.

Filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and helping them prepare emotionally and spiritually for death, Final Gifts shows how we can help the dying person live fully to the very end.

Product details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA; Bantam Trade Pbk. Ed edition (5 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553378767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553378764
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Lovely Dad 28 Feb 2004
Oh!How I wish I'd read this book 9 months ago. My lovely Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2003, it became metastatic and sadly he died December 2003.
I was of course devastated and had great trouble coming to terms with his death. This book has done more to help me in the two days it took to read than several bereavement councilling sessions and 2 bottles of anti depressants. I am now more at peace with his passing.
There is so much information in this book. What we thought was his mind being confused, was so much more. No wonder he got frustrated with us. My Dad,smiled, waved and spoke to people we could not see. In his final hours gained an unknown strength and tried to get out of bed. His final gift to me was for me not to see his last laboured breath, he died within two minutes of me leaving the room to get some air.
Thank you both authours for this wonderful, informative and compassionate book. It is a must read for anyone who has someone they love diagnosed with a terminal illness.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Over the past few years, when faced with the information that someone I'd known was dying, I did - nothing.
Retreating, I was terrified of my own mortality and of what I might do if I were around someone who was dying. Would I say the wrong thing or nothing at all? Would I cry, or do something to inadvertently hurt them? What is dying like?
This book is great as a comforting instruction manual on what happens, what to do, and what not to do.
It begins with information about what happens to the body when it is in the process of dying, then moves into experiences the authors have had in dealing with people who are dying, or whose loved ones are dying. They have helpful information throughout the book for those, like me, who were unsure about what to say or do.
They include individual stories about messages people send when they are approaching death and how not to miss them; seeing people who have already died and what that may mean; symbolic dreams and how to let the dreamer find the meaning; choosing a time to die (not by suicide); waiting for a person to arrive or an event to happen.
Family and friends often ignore this precious information. It seems illogical, far out, too much like stories about abduction by aliens. We brush them off as hallucinations, caused by denial or possibly drug-induced.
When I first heard volunteers, nurses and others who work in hospice tell stories of people who have similar Nearing Death Experiences (not to be confused with "Near Death Experiences"), I was dubious. However, in my readings and hospice volunteer work, I find that these stories are universal, timeless and not as new age-y as I'd thought.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The name says it all. 23 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Six years ago my mother and I read this book after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and a niece of hers had terminal ovarian cancer. Both my mother and I found so much peace in the book. Five years after her initial diagnosis my mother's breast cancer recurred suddenly and aggressively in her brain and spinal fluid. The choice of the family was to bring her to her home, surrounded by her five children, their spouses and her grandchildren. She lived for a week, cared for by her family and her hospice nurses. That week will be remembered by all of us as one of the best weeks of our lives. It was a time of celebration of her life of 76 years - friends, neighbors, and family were ever present with love and support. My mother's final gift to us was our strong sense of famiy; our final gift to her was to allow her to die in dignity and peace surrounded by her loved ones. It was this book that led us to having a fantastic experience that enriched all of our lives in a way we could never have imagined. We are very grateful to Hospice and to this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
When my family brought hospice in to care for my mother, Maggie Callanan was our hospice nurse. Through her, we were able to help our mother die with dignity and grace. She helped us every step of the way. 10 years later, as my Dad was also dying, we again called hospice and, thru sheer coincidence, Maggie was again assigned to us. This is when we learned of Final Gifts. This book allowed my entire family to truly appreciate the dreams and thoughts my Dad was having and helped us to understand what he was experiencing and assisted us in providing for him as he departed this life. I am convinced that it was no coincidence that this wonderful nurse, this angel on earth, entered our lives a second time. Reading this book has given me renewed hope that there is something beyond this life and it truly is a better place.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Gifts 1 April 2005
I think this book is excellent for anyone caring for a terminally-ill person. Whether it's a partner, parent, friend, sibling, relative. It really explains in a simple manner what the signs are, what to look out for and how to really understand the needs of the dying. I found it extremely comforting to read this, although I have to say I read it with tears in my eyes as some of the stories hit very close to home and were really moving. It also gave comfort as it really does give you a sense of the spiritual side of dying and the signs and the fact that the dying person can sometimes be "in control" of what is happening around them. It was a great comfort and I would highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, insightful and strangely comforting
I was looking for a book to offer support and guidance to me, when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and given weeks to live. I was so glad I bought it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lianne Beer
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little book
A wonderful little book, containing the experiences from the two hospice nurses who wrote it.
Gives a telling account of what may happen to people who are in their final days... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Smithy
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful read
This book is amazing, it has changed my whole perepctive on dying. I work with people who are dying and have always found it difficult to know what to say or to understand the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by chloegee
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for anyone involved in care of the dying
I am a nurse and this book has made me reflect a lot on people I have nursed in the past with terminal illness. I wish I'd read it 20 years ago. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Andrew S. Butcher
3.0 out of 5 stars Final Gifts
I got the books for a present. The cover on one book was fitted back to front and upside down.
Published 16 months ago by laurence Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely recommended!!
I work in palliative care and this book certainly enriched me as a person helping dying people and their families. Nicely written by nurses with great experience. Read more
Published on 28 July 2012 by K. Patynowska
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is brillant
I would like to say how good this book is so glad i bought it an read it within a week loved it deff recommend to all!
Published on 26 April 2012 by delly
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a comfort in this type of situation
I was recommended this book when a member of my family was dying and I really didn't know what to expect or where to turn or how to approach my loved one. Read more
Published on 8 April 2011 by J. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Kind and comforting
I read this book a week after losing a very close family member to a terminal illness, I am quite easily upset and felt unsure as to whether I should read this book but its given... Read more
Published on 13 Oct 2010 by LS
5.0 out of 5 stars A great comfort at a terrible time
I read this during the last couple of weeks of my Mum's life. It had been recommended to me by others that had gone through the same dreadful experience. Read more
Published on 3 April 2007 by J. Smith
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