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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Final Gifts
Format: Paperback|Change

on 28 February 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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on 8 April 2011
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. I realise not everyone has the same experiences but through reading the stories I was able to approach each day with positive expectation. It really helped - a sort of training manual for this type of situation
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on 1 April 2017
Very interesting book, half way through already, couldn't put it down once started reading.
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on 25 May 2017
Really helpful when reflecting on the last weeks of my husband's life with cancer.
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on 22 June 1998
I wish I had read this remarkable book prior to my mother's death. Perhaps I would have been able to better understand what she was trying to communicate to me. It should be required reading for anyone involved with the terminally ill.
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on 31 October 2000
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. We've been ignoring these wonderfully soothing stories of how people die, because for years we've (United States, primarily) moved birthing and dying out of the family and into hospitals. We are beginning to move them back.
If you've lost a loved one, are dealing with someone who is dying (yourself or someone else), if you avoid visiting friends who are dying or if you're struggling with your own awareness that someday you will die, please read this book. It will put your mind at ease.
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on 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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on 12 May 1998
FINAL GIFTS was recommended to me when my father was dying of pancreatic cancer. As an only child who had just buried her mother (and wife of father for 53 years) several months earlier, this book brought an inner peace to me when the doctor indicated Dad had at the most six months. As it turned out, thank God, I had him for two years. But there were several times when we thought we would lose him. It was a great help to have read FINAL GIFTS and know the signs of the final times and also that until Dad had done all he wanted and felt he needed to do, he was not going anywhere. On his final day, my son, who was extremely close to his Pap, would not tell him it was okay to go and be at peace. My Dad lingered and suffered the entire day. The doctors and nurses could not understand what kept him going. At 5:45PM my son finally whispered his goodbyes to Dad and he left go and went with dignity and peace at 6:00PM, with his minister praying at his side and his entire family surrounding his bed. Knowing that Mom was on the other side for him also made letting go somewhat easier. FINAL GIFTS is a good source of information and should be read by any and all persons caring for loved ones with terminal illness.
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on 13 October 2010
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 me a lot of comfort. It's well written and informative without feeling cold. Secion 7 - seeing the presence of others is amazing, the authors are not religious or in any way claiming to be psychic which made this section so much more believable and comforting to me. I will keep this book forever.
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on 30 September 2003
My brother recently fought a brain tumour and spent the final 3 months of his life in a hospice. We are not the sort of people who are "sentimental" or very expressive, but this book was a tremendous help. It helped us to start to understand some of the things that he was going through and trying to get us to understand. Clearly if you are reading it whilst facing a death then it will be a mixture of sadness and other emotions, but I cannot recommed this book highly enough.
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