Final Gifts

Final Gifts

4.8 60
by Maggie Callanan, Patricia Kelley

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When someone we love is terminally ill, we are often unprepared to deal with the experience. But the dying have much to tell us and give to us. Final Gifts is a deeply moving, groundbreaking book that teaches us how to recognize and "decode" the often symbolic communications of those on the verge of death. In this humane, compassionate, and insightful approach to


When someone we love is terminally ill, we are often unprepared to deal with the experience. But the dying have much to tell us and give to us. Final Gifts is a deeply moving, groundbreaking book that teaches us how to recognize and "decode" the often symbolic communications of those on the verge of death. In this humane, compassionate, and insightful approach to helping the dying, Callanan and Kelley show families, friends, and other caregivers how to listen to the dying, how to understand and accept what they wish or need to share, and how to learn from this awesome life event in ways that bring understanding, comfort, intimacy, and peace.

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Random House Publishing Group
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Final Gifts 4.8 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 60 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We all understand that death is difficult to swallow, especially when it is a parent, sibling, child or someone close to our heart. Sometimes our relatinship may even be one in which there have been many ups and downs. With the help of others, like the authors who have been present with many people walking the final journey of life, they provide a familiarity of the journey so we to can see through our emotions and understand what is happening to us and the one dying. Having read this book a few months before mom's final days, we were prepared to face our issues, her issues and those close to us who refused to face death. This is a journey to remember and one in which joy may be found. This book was passed to me, I have passed it on many times because it not only gave me courage but showed me how to use that courage for my dying mother who was more courageous that we could have imagined. Those dying want our honesty and our attention to what is happening to them. It will also eventually happen to us, it is the journey of life. Dare the journey with an open heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book!!!!! I am so glad to have read this book while taking care of my mom during her last months. I would have missed interpretted many dreams and visions that she had had I not read this book. The personal experiences that the hospice nurses talk about were so easy to relate to what was happening with my mom and I. As I said I give this book away to anyone who is going through the death or dying of a relative or friend. The only stipulation is that they pass it on when they are finished. Everyone I have given the book to has greatly appreciated the reading and are happy they have had a chance to read it before their love one has passed. I always keep two on hand just in case. Purchase this book you will not be disappointed!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
During my mother's last days in a hospital, a chaplain gave me a copy of FINAL GIFTS to read while at her bedside. Most personal accounts discussed were about patients who could still communicate with others. However,since my mother could no longer speak, I was comforted to find a section on nonverbal communication too. The book encouraged me to watch all of her actions very carefully. A few hours before she passed away, she glanced at the foot of her bed, gazed away, and glanced back with a surprised look on her face. I noticed that she lifted the index finger of her hand, which was resting on top of a blanket. At first I thought it was an involuntary movement, but I saw that she lifted it a second time. It occurred to me then that she was POINTING at something at the foot of her bed! I don't know if it was an angel, or my father who passed away before her, but it was definitely someone. If I had not read this book, I might not have realized the significance of my mother's last efforts to communicate with me. These final moments with her have enriched my life and that of others with whom I have shared this story. I urge those who struggle with end of life issues to take advantage of the insights provided in this helpful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lost my baby brother, and was instantly grief stricken. Our Hospice nurse recommended this book to me. While it didn't ease any of my grief, (only time will do that), it did offer me much peace as I learned about the dying experience. I now hold hope that my brother found peace in his last days. The little things he was saying to me, and even a conversation the day before we lost him... I now know and understand the messages he was trying to convey to me. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who has someone they either are losing or have lost. I do wish I had read this book before I lost my brother. It would have given me insight and I would have handled certain conversations differently. But moving forward, I too want the dying experience as he had. To be able to find peace, and see him waiting for me would be awesome. Read this book. It brought me so much peace and comfort, and I believe it will for you as well.
DP77 More than 1 year ago
IF someone you love and care about is on the journey toward the end of their life--and isn't EVERYONE? to some degree?--this book is INDISPENSIBLE!!! Buy it for yourself; buy it for a friend; but ABOVE ALL, READ IT!!! The authors write clearly and thoroughly about their experience in the field of working with the dying, and their insights are SO VERY helpful--particularly for those of us who've not before dealt with/been through the journey toward the end of life. I've had loved ones pass, of course, but never before in "journey format" this point, they've passed suddenly, unexpectedly. This content is not "cliche"--it's informative and HELPFUL! This book is SO WONDERFUL, too, because, at a time when there is so much needing to be tended is written in such a way as it is EASY to read and understand...EVEN WHEN you must put it down frequently as you are interrupted by the unexpected urgencies that come when caring for those on the "nearing-death journey" as they call it. Buy it for yourself and ALL who care for the one on the journey. a few copies for someone you know--they'll appreciate it SO MUCH when they suddenly find themself in the same situation. This book is CRITICAL to understanding and maintaining YOUR sanity when caring for those on the journey!
TrishMD More than 1 year ago
This wonderful book written by Hospice nurses inludes many wonderful stories about young and old during their last days. Though I read it after my father had passed, I found it comforting because it gave me an understanding of what he may have experienced as he prepared to leave. I have donated many copies to Hospice and have given copies to friends and everyone has loved it and benefited from it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for anyone who has someone in hospice or facing the end of life. It helps you deal with the sorrow and to understand what your loved one is going through.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have purchased this book for the third time for dear ones who are facing the death of a loved one. It was recommended to me by my cousin and she has given out numerous copies also. Very informative on what to expect.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Registered Nurse, this book gave me inexplicable insight into the dying process. It showed me that the dying and their families go through a process that is unique and very special and that we as nurses need to explore and respect that process.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book 2 months after my husband of 32 years died in a hospice unit. He had been in the inpatient unit for 30 days following 4 months of hospice care at home. I was at his side constantly during this time. This book has helped me to find some closure and also to understand what my husband and I had been working our way through. This book would be very helpful to anyone with a loved one in a Hospice program, before or after death. I wish I had read it before my husband died.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My father refused to acknowledge he had a terminal illness. His thoughts were clear until death. I am a nurse and felt helpless and frustrated with how to relate to his refusal of hospitalization and it's inconvenience to family. Reading the book when hospice began helped family members accept his rapidly declining health. I felt inner strength to cope with what was soon to occur in our situation after reading Final Gifts. I was unable to put it down until I finished about 3 hours later. I cried while reading about experiences of others who had died with dignity as their families were by their side. My father died with dignity, at home with his loved ones by his side in a blessed and peaceful departure.I have bought 3 copies and given away each to those who were facing the loss of a loved one. I will buy another to have and reread and possibly share in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Our daughter was barely 16 old when my mom was dying of cancer. We received this book from hospice just a few days before her death. It was at bedtime (the only time I had) that I found comfort in reading 'Final Gifts'. When I told my daughter about what I was reading, she asked me to read it aloud as she fell asleep. It helped her tremendously. Death and dying is hard enough for adults. Teenagers have such up and down emotions under normal circumstances---loosing a loved one or friend can seem impossible to endure. The night before Mom died, family and friends gathered. She knew when and where she was going. She was happy, in good spirits, and at peace. My daughter witnessed all of this. This precious time with Mom and the words from this wonderful book relieved any fear she may have had. I continued to read and finished 'Final Gifts' after Mom passed. It gave me comfort and strength as I grieved. I have given copies to many people since 1996, and will continue to do so. It's a 'must read' after death as well. NOTE: upon previewing my review as it would be posted I noticed the date. Today would have been her 74th. 'Happy Birthday' Mom
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
One of the most frustrating things about being with a person who's dying is a sense of helplessness combined with ignorance. What is the person feeling, what does he WANT, are some of the things he says delusional or do they have a greater meaning? This book helps answer many of those questions, and gives clear examples of these things. If you will be spending time with a person who is nearing death, I highly recommend this book. And for all that many people find death depressing, I have to say I found this book both comforting and extremely uplifting. Does it cover all the messiness, ugliness, and indignity that death can entail? No, but there are other books that do. This still deserves to be one of THE books on one's bookshelf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me by a hospice nurse at the passing of my mother. What a comforting, wonderful read! Final Gifts is itself a gift to the reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. I highly recommend this to everyone who is facing the loss of a loved one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are caring for a loved one and they are nearing death this is one great book to read! I was given my first copy by a Hospice Nurse when I had questions about how my mom was reacting. She gave me the book which at first I only wanted an answer, but later after reading the book I found much more comforting answers than a person could have given me. I have shared this book many times and always get a thank you for sharing. This explains to the lay person or the health care professional what you need to know as people get near death. At the moment I have a real book of this and now a Nook Book of it so I will always have a copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Mom was at Hospice, and a staff member recommended that I get this book, written by two Hospice nurses. I was able to better understand what my Mom was going through and the book explained how and why some things happen. It was a GREAT resource for me, and I'm telling all my friends about this great book.
GinnyJWA More than 1 year ago
As the person with the terminal illness, I needed to read this book. It has made me more comfortable about dying. At 47, it is difficult to come to terms with a terminal illness, yet even more difficult when your husband will not talk to you about it. I will try very hard to get him to read this book, as it would help me very much.
MoseyNH More than 1 year ago
This book changed my life, and, I believe, allowed my mother to have a more peaceful death. How could any review say more? Nurses Callanan and Kelly share their many experiences as hospice nurses with brief introductions on themes which they saw repeated in their work with the dying. Each topic is accompanied by experiences of patients and their families, such as finding the patterns in what are seemingly senseless ramblings by the dying person. I know that by finding the patterns, we were able reassure my mother about two concerns--worry about the order of her personal business and moving on to death with some peace by interpreting what might be considered symbolic language and setting her mind at rest. Useful to readers who are both skeptics and religious believers.
odonatafan More than 1 year ago
This has become my standard gift to those friends that lose loved ones. It helped me tremendously in the loss of my father and I know it has been very helpful to others as they work through their grief. I highly recommend this to anyone that has a loved one who is suffering from a terminal illness or has recently lost someone dear to them. Thought-provoking and touching.
RTL More than 1 year ago
Written by Hospice nurses, angels themselves, Final Gifts is an amazing tutorial on not just listening, but hearing the messages conveyed by a dying loved one. It is highly readable, not written in a fashion to produce copious tears, but rather to provide insight on hidden meanings of the wishes, dreams and feelings of the terminally ill. The book was given to me by my dying mother, and I found knowledge and comfort in its pages. Subsequently,I have presented Final Gifts to a number of friends who likewise have discovered significant value in its message.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was given this book at the time of my best friend's terminal illness diagnosis. It was an amazing resource and provided me much guidance and comfort during one of the most challenging times of my life. I have since purchased and given many copies to others who are coping with a terminal illness. This is the best resource I have come across...and I have read many, many books on death and dying. I would highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very helpful during a difficult time, preparing for one's own death, and for their loved ones to prepare.
SilentLakeGramma More than 1 year ago
Very insightful, very helpful in appreciating and dealing with death
MargieHG More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever! When someone is dying, they may say and do things that seem odd or out of the ordinary. This book, written by Hospice nurses, explain what these things may mean. There is such a thin veil between life and death and someone facing their final days may "bless" you with some insight from the other side. It truly is a gift if you are lucky enough to be aware of what to look/listen for. I recommend this book highly. You won't be able to put it down.