Authors Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley have worked as hospice nurses and collectively observed the last days of many patients. This book is their attempt. FINAL GIFTS. An interview with. Maggie Callanan on. Nearing-Death Awareness by. Gilles Bédard. January 19, What is your professional background?. Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kellley, the authors of “Final Gifts,” are hospice nurses with years of experience in the care of dying patients.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan. Five years after its first publication, with more thancopies 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 t Five years after its first publication, with more thancopies in print, Final Gifts has become a classic.

Final Gifts

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.

Paperbackpages. Published February 3rd by Bantam Books first published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Final Giftsplease sign up.

Irene Allison No, it is a deeply heart and human-centered book that forces no ideologies or religions on the experiences it shares. The spiritual aspect of the book …more No, it is a deeply heart and human-centered book that forces no ideologies or religions on the experiences it shares.

The spiritual aspect of the book is that it respects the grace and intimacy of the dying process, while honouring the natural, yet ultimately mysterious and deeply individual process of dying.

See 2 questions about Final Gifts…. Lists with This Book. Mar 07, Charity rated it it was amazing. Back when I was a doula, I had this thought that working with mqggie through the birthing process must be similar to working in hospice with people who were dying. I didn’t share this thought with many people. In general, I finnal try not to mention death to pregnant women, and I worried that anyone not involved in doula work might think I was just weird. Cllanan to menext to being born, which for most of us is stored only in our implicit memory and therefore inaccessible with our conscious methods Back when I was a doula, I had this thought that working with women through the birthing process must be similar to working in hospice with people who were dying.

But to menext to being born, which for most of us is stored only in our implicit memory and therefore inaccessible with our conscious methods of “remembering”giving birth was the closest tifts could get to the process of dying without actually dying. I kept this notion largely to myself and quietly kept my eyes out for people who’d worked with both laboring magige and dying people to either confirm or disprove this idea, all the while wondering if I dared try doula-ing to the dying and finding out for myself.

And then I started this fina and read in the third chapter: At the other end of life, we help to ease the transition from life through death to whatever exists beyond. Birth and death became events cloaked in secrecy and silence rather than transitions to be experienced surrounded by those who love us. Thankfully, this trend seems to be shifting. Mostly the book is made up of brief accounts of the last moments of dozens giftx individuals.


Final Gifts (Maggie Callanan & Patricia Kelley): Book Review – Cancer Awakens

I read these bifts the emotion and enthusiasm with which I used to read birth stories in the days before I’d ever attended a birth or given birth myself. I read them hungrily, with the sense that there is a hidden truth in them and that I need only see these stories callanxn the proper angle for this truth to be revealed. The authors point out the similarities between different stories, and encourage the reader to find significance in these similarities.

They give suggestions for maintaining the awareness and open-mindedness necessary to receive the often cryptic or confusing messages that dying people sometimes try to convey. They encourage the reader to remember that the dying person is still a personan individual going through a momentous transition and experiencing a wide range ca,lanan emotions and sensations that we can only guess at. The authors encourage compassion and connection, and they talk with reverence about the honor of being a part of these families’ lives, if only for a short time.

This is all so very similar to how I feel about being with a woman in labor. Probably in part because it was so familiar, the insights from these stories helped ease some of my fears about my own inevitable death. They helped me to see the beauty in the transition and the many gifts that the dying have to offer us, and it reminded me that emotional pain isn’t always bad, isn’t always something to avoid. The message I got from this book is that there is tremendous power and grace in opening ourselves to the emotional pain that accompanies death.

It is a beautiful, powerful book, and I would recommend it to everyone. I would caution against reading it sitting in the back of the library story room while your children are in Story Time. People seem to feel a little uncomfortable when a woman is choking back sobs while children sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. I’ve never read anything like this before. This is an amazing book, that would be a fantastic gift to give people who have a family member dying.

It’s very educational, from the hospice aspect, of what to expect and how to help your loved one through their fears and stress at they approach their end of life. This book also has important information to help the supporting family member reading this book, to help them through their fears and loss of words to say to their callana family member.

This I’ve never read anything like this before.

FINAL GIFTS by Maggie Callanan , Kelley Kelley | Kirkus Reviews

This book is worth its weight in gold. View all 6 comments. Jul 27, Roxanne rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This book is for everyone We all know someone who is dying, has died or is related to someone with cancer or a terminal disease. It is written by a pair of Hospice nurses who documented cases of patients and families of those in the final stages of death.

The ‘Final Gifts’ of the dying are very often missed or refused by the living for fear of looking greedy or uncaring. I learned that the dying know they are dying and we need to respect their wishes.

They may want to give you a precious item This book is for everyone They may want to give you a precious item of theirs and the usual reaction is to refuse or tell them they’ll be needing or wanting it later. What you should do is accept the gift. That gives the loved one pleasure and peace, knowing their wishes are being fullfilled. I have a dear friend who’s brother was dying of a very aggressive form of cancer. The dying man wanted to take his lady-friend, his brother and sister-in-law my friends to Disney World and pay for everything.

My friend didn’t want to go for a few reasons. He thought it was too much for his sick brother to travel and he wouldn’t hear of him paying for the whole trip. He said he would pay for himself and his wife if they decided to go.


I had recently read the book and told him he should let his brother pay for everything and go! I explained that it was his brothers Final Gift to him. Eventually, he agreed to go. The trip was very difficult and the two brothers spent the entire trip in the hotel room while the women went to the parks. Within weeks after returning the brother passed away. The other day we were talking with our friends and the topic came up. My friend once again thanked me for getting him to go on that trip.

It was the last chance he got to spend real quality time with his brother before he passed away. Sep 24, Bill Braun rated it it was amazing Shelves: I read this book as part of the orientation and training we receive prior to caring for patients.

The authors, experienced hospice nurses, speak to the many ways that people can be present to the dying and their loved onesand in so doing help the dying find peace in their final days and hours. They discuss the many issues that dying people often want to resolve or communicate, and how the dying often do so in non-obvious ways.

They also demonstrate, through their stories, how to communicate with the dying in a generous but direct way as they approach death. The first several chapters are a brief exploration of the theory that forms the foundation of the practice they have developed over the years they have worked with the dying and their families.

They speak to the Nearing Death Awareness that the dying develop, and how family and friends can spot the manifestations of that awareness and serve as guides and allies to the dying. The rest of the book is mostly stories of patients they have cared for.

The authors use stories both to illustrate dying as the conclusion to life and to reinforce the practices that anyone can use to accompany the dying through their final days, hours, and moments. There is a deep beauty in this book. It caught me by surprise. I was expecting to be somewhat depressed by so many stories of death.

And while it is true that I felt great sadness and shed many tears while reading the book, every time I finished a story, I was uplifted by the gift of kindness, compassion, and love that the people close to the dying person were able to find in themselves even as they experienced the sadness and stress of losing someone they love, and to see that kindness, compassion, and love reciprocated.

In the end, at least for me, the book is as much about living as it is about dying. The authors make the point that many of the urgencies that the dying feel – achieving reconciliation, for example – can be addressed while we are still healthy and very much alive. It is a soul touching and a soul stretching book, quite worthy of your time. May 13, Carolyn Johnson added it Recommends it for: Anyone who has a loved one who is terminally ill, or who has an interest in hospice.

I was given this book to read several years ago when my father-in-law was dying. I mean, right at the very moments of his dying. I sat in the living room of the house in which he died, and read several parts of the book, and became too overcome with emotion to finish it.

And, of course I was not in a place or emotional space to take in the information.

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