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Helping the Living and the Dying Talk to Each Other
by Maureen P. Keeley, PhD and Julie M. Yingling, PhD
ISBN: 978-1-889242-30-9 / ISBN-10: 1-889242-30-6, $24.95, hardcover
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About the AuthorsAbout the Authors
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As more people choose to die at home, more survivors will want to know how to converse well with their dying loved ones. Final conversations do not have to be last conversations; they are any that take place between the time of a terminal diagnosis and the loved one’s death. The communication needs of those who must go on living are the focus in this book. No matter what a person’s age, reflecting on their last interactions with a dying loved one can have life-long consequences for them.
This book weaves direct quotations from real people’s memories of final conversations, with thoughtful advice and themes that will help readers determine what may work for them. Themed chapters (love, everyday talk, spiritual messages, nonverbal messages, heartache released, growing up, going on) include heartfelt personal stories and clear advice.
A final chapter gives additional practical tips for talking with the dying, the “how to” for final conversations. An Appendix provides information about the research participants, including pie charts of various categories, including Initiator of Talk, Frequency, Location, and more.

“Readers emerge better prepared to engage in talking with the dying. An unexpected benefit awaits the readers of this book as well. It provides straightforward wisdom about talk among the living, reminding us and coaching us on how to accept and live life as a time-bound gift.” —Roxanne Parrott, Professor and Director of Center for Health and Risk Communication at Pennsylvania State University

“A wonderful educational resource that any person can read and apply to their own relationships. I deeply appreciate the treatment of spirituality. Too many resources today leave that subject for ‘someone else.” —William H. Griffith, D. Min., Chaplain, Hospice of South Central Indiana and author, More Than a Parting Prayer: Lessons in Care Giving for the Dying

American Journal of Nursing

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