Parting: A Handbook for Spiritual Care near the End of Life

Parting: A Handbook for Spiritual Care near the End of Life

Parting: A Handbook for Spiritual Care near the End of Life

Parting: A Handbook for Spiritual Care near the End of Life


At times we may be called to be companions on a journey we would rather not take--the journey of a loved one toward the end of life. For those who choose to serve as close companions of terminally ill relatives or friends, Parting offers the collective wisdom of people from many cultures and faith traditions as a "travel guide" for meaningful companionship--helping someone toward a peaceful transition from this life. Sections of the book discuss how to cross the bridge from ordinary conversation to spiritual reflection; how to provide comforts for the body, mind, and soul; and how to care for yourself while concentrating on the needs of another. Transcending any specific religion or culture, this handbook addresses universal spiritual needs.

Designed for easy reading by weary travelers, this practical, pocket-sized guide prepares the spiritual companion for an enriching experience, even on the journey toward life's end. It is an indispensable tool for family members and friends, hospice workers, religious leaders, counselors, and medical providers.


Why are we here?

How can we understand and fnd meaning in suffering?

What is death, and what happens after death?

To ask and seek answers to these questions is to engage in spiritual work. This volume is a handbook on spiritual care of the dying, yet its purpose is not to address these big questions per se—still less to answer them. Rather, it serves as a practical guide to how people who are dying tend to approach these questions and how their friends and family may act as companions to accompany them on this fnal journey.

The authors, as hospital chaplains, have themselves provided this companionship to the dying many times and have also witnessed it in others. They recognize the need to offer people some simple advice that can bring peace during a time of great emotion, upheaval, and change. They are skilled and trustworthy guides to the spiritual work of the dying and to those who seek to provide compassionate convoy at life’s end.

It’s worth taking a moment here to consider what “spiritual work” might mean to different readers. Until fairly recently, spirituality as a type of experience separate from a particular religious tradition was an unfamiliar notion. That is no longer the case; in contemporary American society, discussions about spirituality sometimes have little or . . .

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