Death and Dying Essay

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Final gifts written by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley is a deeply moving and thought provoking book about death and the dying process. It is written from the perspective of both authors who spent many years of their career as hospice nurses. The authors impart their knowledge and experience to their readers in both an informative and heartfelt manner. Reading this book felt less of textbook and more of a gentle guiding hand. I wish I had this book the last two years as my aunt battled with brain cancer. My Aunt Fern was the youngest of my mother’s twelve siblings. As a child I spent most of my time with her because she was my fulltime babysitter. She taught me how to swim, jump rope, tie my shoes, and cook brownies. She also introduced me to my first roller coaster, taught me how to sneak into the movies and into the Greenfield swimming pool by walking through the drainage culverts under the road that led to the pool! She was silly, exciting, and we always had fun together! My aunt fern also had a sharp tongue! I remember picking up one of her cigarettes when she wasn’t looking and when she found me with it in my mouth she let me have it! She told me she expected more of me, and that I shouldn’t try to copy her. She told me that I needed to finish school and not to smoke cigarettes and not have babies at a young age. She told me if I didn’t follow her advice she would be very disappointed in me! As a young child I thought she was so much older than me and I had that opinion well into adulthood. I was shocked to learn that my Aunt was only nine years older than me! As a young child she seemed to me as worldy and grown-up. I suppose the fact she had children at age 15 also influenced my opinion on her age. As years past and I entered my teen age years my mother and her sister grew apart and I saw my aunt less and less. I remember seeing her at my

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