AUTHOR’S MESSAGE

Thank you for exploring the topic of “The Dying Teach Us How to Live”. Through inspirational short stories of individuals who chose to LIVE with dying, the book does what the title says; it teaches about dying so that all can live with finesse.  Stories of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, angels, and near-death experiences create a non-threatening and compassionate view of the journey of the dying and their friends and family. Included are over 70 original paintings and drawings created by the author to make the experience more personal.

A book that can help unlock the mystery, fear and anxiety of the dying process is needed by everyone and is effective as a tool to educate health professionals!

Please email me @ illluminangels@gmail.com

If you need me to contact you, please include your office and/or cell phone numbers and I will call you as soon as possible.

Below you’ll find information about my book, “The Dying Teach Us How to Live.”  I look forward to your response.

Patricia M. Acker MS, LSW   Author, Illustrator, Blogger, Speaker, Retired Hospice Social Worker, Childbirth Educator   Home 937-562-3109.

AUTHOR’S MESSAGE

Thank you for exploring the topic of “The Dying Teach Us How to Live”. Through inspirational short stories of individuals who chose to LIVE with dying, the book does what the title says; it teaches about dying so that all can live with finesse.  Stories of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, angels, and near-death experiences create a non-threatening and compassionate view of the journey of the dying and their friends and family. Included are over 70 original paintings and drawings created by the author to make the experience more personal.

A book that can help unlock the mystery, fear and anxiety of the dying process is needed by everyone and is effective as a tool to educate health professionals!

Please email me @ patriciamacker@gmail.com

If you need me to contact you, please include your office and/or cell phone numbers and I will call you as soon as possible.

Below you’ll find information about my book, “The Dying Teach Us How to Live.”  I look forward to your response.

Patricia M. Acker MS, LSW   Author, Illustrator, Blogger, Speaker, Retired Hospice Social Worker, Childbirth Educator   Home 937-562-3109

Publisher:  Braughler Books    http://braughlerbooks.com

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THE SUMMARY

 “You need to write a book,” hospice patients and family members told Pat, who became a Hospice social worker to make a difference in the lives of others.  This book is dedicated to those courageous people. It was a way to ensure that they would not be forgotten and their hard-earned insights imparted to many others.

Pat’s hospice patients, with their families and friends, shared many fascinating stories about angels, near-death experiences, forgiveness, love, faith and hope.  She was present at many deaths and recorded amazing occurrences.

“The Dying Teach Us How to Live” will be able to decrease fear and anxiety about the dying experience.  She encourages patients to use hospice services through a chapter devoted to hospice.  She has many positive letters from individuals who have found serenity from reading these short stories of inspiration.  Pat was able to combine her artistic talent with writing to create this unusual and creative book of tender stories, to weave joy and peace for readers. She hopes to help others see the beauty, mystery, and peace surrounding the dying experience.

Reading or introducing these special stories to someone who is grieving can encourage grief recovery, spiritual awareness and initiate meaningful communication. 

“The Dying Teach Us How to Live” can change our fears, attitudes and create hope as each of us deal with our own contacts with those who are facing the death of loved ones, friends or his or her own death. 

“The Dying Teach Us How to Live” shares a “Caregiver’s Letter of Appreciation” for paid and unpaid caregivers who make a tremendous contribution to the lives of patients who are experiencing their dying journey. These “earth angels” ease the pain and diminish the suffering of those under their care.   

Her hospice patients and families encouraged her to write and illustrate this unique and compassionate book about real people, who faced death and vigorously tackled their “bucket list” with purpose and humor.  Pat’s paintings and drawings add a beautiful, warm look into the rich lives of the dying. 

Biography

Author, Illustrator

Speaker, Blogger

Social Worker

Childbirth Educator

Patricia (Pat) Acker has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Master’s degree in counseling, over 40 years in healthcare with 17 years of hospice experience. Pat also was privileged to attend many births as a childbirth educator for 10 years.

Pat had a short story about her father published in the internationally distributed book, “Small Miracles for Women.”  She has been an artist for most of her life and included over 70 paintings and drawings to highlight the stories in her book, “The Dying Teach Us How to Live”.  Pat and her family were on “The Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt Show” as the focus of a Wright State University television segment and associated newspaper articles. She is a caregiver for her mother.

When her 54-year-old father died suddenly after being hit by a car while riding a motorcycle, she was devastated, grieving and finding difficulty in functioning day to day.  She had no warning and no conception about how difficult life could be without her father, who was her main support system. She was not familiar with the grieving process, did not have access to a counselor and was overwhelmed with living.  Her brother-in-law was killed in an industrial accident 10 days later.  The entire family relived the death of her 3-month-old niece who died 10 years before from crib death. Life became chaotic and heartbreaking in moments. 

After serving as a hospice social worker and speaker, she became aware of the wonderful lessons the dying can teach us if we just take time to face death as a part of life. Life is fragile and unpredictable because we have death.  Life would be taken for granted if it went on indefinitely.  It is because of death that life has meaning, joy and peace. She wanted others to find comfort through these short stories of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, angels and near-death experiences.

WHY IS THIS BOOK RELEVANT AND NECESSARY IN TODAY’S WORLD?

According to Bert Steverman, Bloomberg News, “Americans are retiring later, dying sooner.” October 2017 Dayton Daily News

“The U.S. retirement age is rising as the government pushes it higher and workers stay in careers longer. 

But life spans aren’t necessarily extending to offer equal time on the beach.  Data released last week suggest Americans’ health is declining and millions of middle-age workers face the prospect of shorter, and less active, retirements than their parents enjoyed. 

The age-adjusted mortality rate in the U.S. rose 1.2 percent from 2014-2015, according to the Society of Actuaries.  That’s the first year-over-year increase since 2005, and only the second rise greater than 1 percent since 1980. At the same time that Americans’ life expectancy is stalling, public policy and career tracks mean millions of U.S. workers are waiting longer to call it quits. 

Almost one in three Americans age 65-to 69 is still working, along with one in five in their early 70s.

Americans in their late 50s already have more serious health problems than ages did 10 to 15 years ago. 

University of Michigan economists Hwajung Choi and Robert Schoeni used survey data to compare middle-age Americans’ health.  A key measure is whether people have trouble with an “activity of daily living,” (ADL) such as walking across a room, dressing and bathing themselves, eating or getting in or out of bed. 

The study showed the number of middle-age Americans with ADL limitations has jumped: 12.5 percent of Americans at the current retirement age of 66 had an ADL limitation in their late 50’s, up from 8.8 percent for people with a retirement age of 65. “

The United States has a high rate of deaths of children, babies, and new mothers.

People need to deal with the concept of living with health limitations and potentially with the dying experience for themselves or others with peace and hope.

Caregivers wrote these commentaries after reading this special book.

“You captured the expressions of love that bring love, joy and peace to the sick and dying.  The essence of God throughout the book touched my soul.  Your fantastic artwork added much to the book.”     Lorna Stayton

“Author, Pat Acker captures this incredibly personal journey through the eyes of a hospice social worker, her patients and families.” Lauren S. Baer MSW, LISW, ICDC

“Since I have been a caregiver for my husband and my parents, these stories have sustained me during stressful times, for each story provides a calm guide that quiets such stress and helps strengthen the resolve needed to deal with challenges.”  Lynne Hodge, retired English teacher and caregiver.

“A hospice social worker’s journey through the death of her patients and the lessons it taught her—the message is a deeper understanding of God’s love.  The stories are a gift to those who take this journey with her.”  Jan Hauser LSW

“The Dying Teach Us How to Live” gifts the reader with a whole new perspective—shifting the feeling of burden to one of privilege. In these stories everyone wins, having paid the price and walked the walk, the ultimate gift is one of peace and love for everyone concerned.”  Joanie Fink, caregiver

“The Dying Teach Us How to Live” enabled me to feel peaceful and uplifted in my life and through my work as a nurse’s aide.  The artwork creates the feeling of being there as the stories unfold.”  Christine King, Certified Nurse Aide

“The book does what the title says; it teaches us about dying so we can live more fully.  Through the stories, common fears about death are quelled, and the emphasis shifts to celebrating life and finding beauty and peace in the transition of the spirit.”  Kathleen Gierhart LMHC, DDMS

“God knows all of the wonderful performances of his earth-based caregiver angels.  I know that He must be proud of the loving tasks accomplished everyday with paid and unpaid caregivers.”  Excerpt from the book, page 34

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM READING THESE SHORT, INSPIRATIONAL STORIES? 

  • Individuals/schools dealing with death/dying issues, dying individuals, caregivers.

  • family, friends, grieving persons, health care professionals, clergy, churches,

  • funeral homes, cemetery staff, hospice staff/clients, hospitals/healthcare staffing,

  • volunteers, nursing homes, assisted livings, home care agencies, counselors,

  • military men and women, police, firefighters, emergency response teams,

  • senior citizen centers, children/teens, lawyers, social workers, teachers,

  • all others who want or need to explore the dying process.

  • The stories in the book normalize the death and dying process; the final journey of moving on to another realm.  When we reduce the fear of death, we can begin to live life and enjoy the time we have.  Families and friends learn to come together in peace and joy as they reconnect with the dying person in a different but comforting way. 

  • Medical staff and therapists are able to become more relaxed in conversing effectively with dying persons and their family/friends. 

  • Dying individuals can forgive, ask for forgiveness, make legal, financial and medical decisions for themselves to make the transition easier for themselves and others.

  • All age groups are represented in stories that can educate in areas such as finding meaning in life and death, exploring concepts of the soul and immortality, and spiritual awareness.  The stories support grief recovery, and encourage deeper, more meaningful, communication.

  • Humor, beautiful images of angels, reports of near-death experiences, and miracles can encourage hope and the feeling of going toward something wonderful! People who experienced the sudden death of someone, especially family members and friends, can find solace!

POTENTIAL SPEAKING/INTERVIEW TOPICS/QUESTIONS

  • Do individuals have any control over their own death?

  • Can they choose who is present when they die? Can they hear us as they die?

  • Can they choose when they die?  Can they avoid dying on holidays, or on special occasions? 

  • Is there just healing of the body or is it a healing of the spirit, or both?

  • What is the final gift?

  • Are there any unusual things that occur around a death?

  • What about angels, near-death experiences, seeing bright lights or deceased loved ones?

  • How do children and animals contribute to the dying experience?

  • As a person who has been present at many births and deaths, are there any similarities between childbirth labor and the dying process?

  • Is there an achievement of goals? If so what is the impact on family, how does life change?

  • Does coping with a still-born child or a child who is premature or terminally ill have a greater impact on survivors than the death of an adult?

  • How do children cope with births and deaths?

  • How do people say goodbye before and after their death?

  • What special incidences occurred that enabled individuals to say goodbye?

  • What things occurred after death to let others know they were ok?

  • How does faith affect the dying experience?  What about abortion and suicide?

  • How do the paintings affect those who are reading the stories?

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