Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying

AUTHOR: Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley



An excellent book written by two hospice nurses.  It helps the reader understand the special awareness, needs, and communications of the dying … in order to allow us to do all we can to help ensure a peaceful death for our loved ones

It was recommended when I was going through training for our local Hospice.  I found it extremely valuable, and not just for my upcoming stint as a volunteer.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a loved one approaching the end-stage of life … or who simply has questions about what this might look like. 

The authors’ insights into the dying and death process are told through the recounting of their personal experience with past patients, describing:

  • the common experience of “seeing” predeceased loved ones, or other Spirit energies, and the beauty of the world that awaits
  • common metaphors used to warn that death is imminent
  • language and behaviour that may exhibit a need for something in order for the person to find peace; and
  • the ability to know or be able to control the precise time of death.  

Helping someone navigate the final leg of their life’s journey is heart-wrenching … but also a privilege. 

This book opens the door to understanding how we can best understand … and honour … their needs during this most difficult of times.


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