Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley Review

Why This Book is a Priceless Read

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At a visit to a patient's home not so long ago, the patient's family told me that the patient wanted to be dressed in a suit and wanted to pack a suitcase to have ready. The patient's family was confused by this behavior. They asked the patient why he wanted to be dressed in a suit with a suitcase, and where he thought he was going. He simply said "home."

A Book That Shares Priceless Stories

Similar stories to the one told above are shared throughout the beautiful book Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communication of the Dying by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley.

The dying can communicate their needs and even convey what they feel if we know how to listen, and this beautifully written books illustrates this. 

Final Gifts draws on the authors' 57 years of combined experience caring for the dying -- experience that is priceless for those of us who are facing death for the first time. Poignant stories of the experiences of real patients and their loved ones paint us a picture of what the dying so desperately want us to know.

A Book with Benefits for Everyone

The last chapter of the book provides practical uses and tips applying the various stories found in the book to your particular situation. The book's final chapter even includes a section for professional caregivers. Personally, I'm certain that I will be applying all of the tips provided by the book to my own practice.

And if you were wondering, my patient did go "home" that evening. He died just hours after I left.

 

Pros of Final Gifts

  • Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communication of the Dying offers insight into what a dying person may experience through real and personal stories
  • Provides those who are losing a loved one with possible explanations for seemingly confusing behavior
  • Brief but moving and relatable stories keep readers engaged from the beginning to the end

    Cons of Final Gifts

    • Non-Christians may feel alienated by the predominately Christian views on spirituality near death, as the authors incorporate some religious aspects into their writing

    The Book Review Bottom Line

    I flew through this 239-page book in just one weekend. I shed tears of both sadness and joy, and I connected to each individual story on a deeply personal level. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communication of the Dying is a priceless read for those who are losing a loved one.

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