Our Spiritual Journey with the Dying
Our spiritual team at Hospice of The Calumet Area is often faced with the challenge of helping our patients seek meaning in both living and dying. There are many layers to our lives: physical, social, cultural, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Our team is challenged with many questions on a daily basis. When someone enters our program, with a life-limiting diagnosis, the patients and families find that there are so many questions. Most often, those questions include...
What was my life all about?
How did I live my life?
Why was I here?
Who/what has been most important in my life?
Where am I going?
Relationships are examined closely by both the patient and the family. At first, what might prove to be most important is to contemplate family and relationships. Relationships that may require healing, expressions of love, forgiveness, apologies and even sometimes handling regrets.
Then, perhaps may come the question pertaining to the fear of dying. Again, those questions mostly likely addressed include when, why, where and how? They seek meaning. Some have fears and some do not; we try to get our patients to a place of acceptance. We facilitate help finding a peace of mind, spiritual questions answered as best they can be, and the patient gains closure.
Life is hard; harder for some than others. Difficult challenges are experienced, but as a hospice chaplain once stated, "We can all still have a good life. We can go through really terrible times, trauma, loss and still find meaning and even joy. It is important to know what others have done."
Asking questions, as our patients often do, about the meaning of life and the joy discovered is critical. The chaplain concluded, "It is possible."
Our Hospice Team
Our team members give rise to thoughts and then we listen...to their stories of hope, regret, shame, pride, fear. We listen as they express their dreams, their joy, their love. What it has meant to be alive. At Hospice of the Calumet Area, we Cherish Life.
By Sharon Lund MA, Spiritual Counselor