In the Hospice Library

Book: "A Good Ending" by David Sparks

Wow, that was a good funeral. Comments like this are not an accident, but the result of care and planning, contends David Sparks in A Good Ending. This practical book gives advice and ideas for every step along the way, from supporting the dying person, to planning a funeral, life celebration, or memorial, and to being with those left to mourn. Whether you're a new or seasoned worship leader looking for fresh insights or ideas or someone looking for guidance to support a dying loved one, you'll find this an indispensable resource. Practical helps include suggested prayers, sample meditations and service outlines, and detailed check lists also available as downloadable file.

More people who are not worship leaders are finding themselves having to plan how to say goodbye to a loved one without the support of a long-time relationship with a faith community. This guide will help to know what to expect from and how to work with the service leader to create a celebration that meets the needs of all.

This book is available for loan from the Hospice library.
Reviewed by Brenda Hooper

Book: "Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communications of the Dying" by Maggie Callanan & Patricia Kelley - Poisidon Press

As people approach the end of life they frequently use symbolic language and stories to give messages to those around them. They might indicate when they are nearing death, if they are ready to go, what they still need before the end of their life or for a peaceful death, and who they are seeing that has passed on before them. These two hospice nurses have years of experience with those who know the most about death (the dying), and share their stories and insights about how best to hear the messages and respond to them.

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Book: "Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life" by Maggie Callanan - Bantam Press

This book describes the journey towards end of life and some of the stages dying people experience as they close their life. Told through stories and illustrations, the author talks about how to support a husband or wife faced with the loss of a spouse or a dying mother as she prepares to leave her children. Callanan talks what to expect and discusses ways to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges during this time. Most importantly, she focuses on how to make life meaningful at each new turn in the road.

Book: "Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss" by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen -ACTA Publications

Tear Soup is a profound picture book for adults and children! 'Grandy' has just suffered a big loss in her life, and so she is cooking up her own unique batch of 'tear soup'. Tear Soup gives you a glimpse into Grandy's life as she blends different ingredients into her own grief process. Her tear soup will help to bring her comfort and ultimately help to fill the void in her life that was created by her loss. Following Grandy's story you will find cooking tips to use in dealing with grief: it takes time, and effort, and needs to simmer for a while.

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Book: "The Orphaned Adult" by Alexander Levy

Given the fact that we will all suffer the loss of our parents, even if we have never met them, there are very few books that deal with this topic. Alexander Levy, a practising psychologist, has produced an easy to read book which discusses every aspect of the loss of our parents, no matter our age.

The loss of both parents creates conflicting grief reactions and creates some profound psychological changes. It is to be expected that our parents will pre-decease us but we are rarely prepared for how difficult this universal passage can be and the changes that are a direct result of becoming an orphan.

This book discusses the aspects of grief associated with parental death, the impact of those deaths on personal identity and our relationships with others as we grieve. It also discusses the necessity of grieving what others often see as just the natural progression of generational death.

The book was written after Mr. Levy lost both of his parents and his combination of personal and professional insight has produced a book that clearly identifies everything that becoming an orphaned adult entails.