Terminal illness and bereavement

Callanan, Maggie, and Patricia Kelley. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications oj the Dying. New York: Bantam Books, 1997. Written by two hospice nurses with decades of experience, this book helps families understand and communicate with terminally ill patients. Compassionate, comforting, and insightful, Final Gifts movingly teaches us how to listen to and comfort the dying. Highly recommended.

Modlow, D. Gay, and Ida M. Martinson. Home Care for the Seriously Ill Child: A Manual for Parents. 1991. $7.95 from Children's Hospice International (703) 684-0330. Helps parents explore the possibility of home care for the dying child. Contains practical information on what to expect, methods for pain relief, and control of medical problems. Appendices on medications, bibliographies, and dos and don'ts for helping bereaved parents.

Pizzo, Philip A., MD, and David G. Poplack, MD, eds. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1997. Chapter 51, "Care of the Dying Child."

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Confident Kids

Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.

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