The Author - Patricia M. Acker MS, LSW
Pat Acker is a grandmother who shares her love of people through the stories of this book. Previously, she had a short story about her father published in the internationally distributed book, "Small Miracles for Women."
As a young woman, Pat experienced loss and grief and found nowhere to turn for emotional and grief support. She wanted others to have healing and grief options so chose Hospice as her life's work. Pat has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a Master's in counseling.
Throughout her career, many of Pat's patients and their family and friends shared stories of angels, near death experiences, forgiveness, love, faith and hope. Pat in turn comforted other patients and their families with these stories; teaching lessons about living life one day at a time and making our existence on this earth meaningful. At the urging of those she had told stories to, she wrote many down to share with everyone in the book, "The Dying Teach Us How to Live" and used her own drawings and paintings to illustrate it.
Pat hopes that her book will serve to decrease fear and anxiety about the dying experience and increase feelings of faith, peace and hope. She has also devoted one chapter to encourage patients to fully use the services of hospice. This is a heartfelt book that uses tender stories to weave joy and peace for the reader.
Patricia M. Acker MS, LSW
Retired Medical Social Worker
Former 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. She has been a life-long community volunteer.
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 and has 20 grandchildren.
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.