Spirituality At The End Of life
Elisabeth Elliot immortalizes her husband Jim Elliot’s words in her book Through Gates of Splendor: “When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.” While most Americans are unwilling to discuss death, men and women who follow religious traditions recognize the value of those statements.
Death Preparation Practically
People who are aware that they will die soon as a result of a terminal illness take certain common procedures to prepare for death. They may organize their finances, execute their wills, schedule funeral or memorial ceremonies with their relatives, and generally put their affairs in order. However, individuals who follow a spiritual path must go one step farther.
Spiritually preparing for death
While the practical procedures to prepare for death are well-known, the spiritual preparations are more complicated. Men and women who have lived their lives in the context of a faith tradition may discover that they have additional tools to help them negotiate their new reality.
Thoonunkal, John “Aside from providing a compassionate presence to patients and families during difficult times in their lives, I hope chaplains can serve as a sounding board or catalyst, whose presence can help patients and families gain deeper perspectives on life, death, and the struggles that come with it from the depths of their own wells of wisdom.”
“It’s about being there for them in a nonjudgmental way as they negotiate the tapestry of end-of-life experiences, exploring both strength and fragility; the love they treasure, and sometimes the feelings of sorrow they have about the past. By acting as a stabilizing presence, chaplains can assist patients and families in grappling with their faith in the face of suffering, fear, loss of control, and the discovery of new resiliency in the current stage of their journey. While I value the experiences they share and the trust they place in me, the opportunity to be a part of their lives, however brief, continues to reawaken my consciousness and help me rethink my thoughts on compassion, forgiveness, faith, hope, love, and relationships.”
Mr. Thoonunkal – popularly known as T.A. by patients and coworkers – has expressed the heartbeat of Chicago’s home hospice team at Oasis in just a few sentences: unconditional, compassionate care for both body and soul.
Preparation for Spiritual Life
The processes of spiritual preparation may vary from person to person.
Chaplains from all faith traditions can be a huge source of consolation for those nearing and in need of the end-of-life care. Others may find spiritual solace in relationships with people or nature. Spiritual experiences that convey a sense of comfort, significance, fulfillment, and peace may be sought as one prepares for the end of life.
Just as no two patients at Oasis require the same medical care, no two patients require the same spiritual resources. We are sensitive to the requirements of each patient here, recognizing, respecting, and nurturing the traditions of people of all faiths and origins.
Oasis provides a wide range of spiritual services to help our patients.
Our pastoral caregivers, who come from a variety of faith backgrounds, assist our patients in finding spiritual consolation and support during difficult times. In our lovely interfaith chapel on the Bronx campus, patients and guests can attend services or pray. Pastoral caregivers are ready to visit patients in their rooms or at their homes, pray with them and hold their hands, or simply be present with them. On their in-room televisions, inpatients can watch all religious services.
We are delighted to lead the way as the country’s only fully accredited acute care hospital dedicated to delivering palliative care for adult advanced cancer patients, setting an example for other medical care institutions.
When It’s Time to Pass Away
It is our aim for all of our patients that when the time comes for them to draw their final breath, those who want spiritual peace will have found it with the assistance of our spiritual care team. Non-abandonment is one of Oasis’ basic values. Our goal is to make all patients and families feel welcomed and supported throughout their final journey.
To that end, we’ve worked hard to provide a diverse range of spiritual services to fulfill the requirements of our patients. To learn more on Spirituality at The End Of Life and best hospice care in Chicago call or visit us today.