Spiritual Support for Patient’s and Their Families
We are all on a journey in this life. Hospice is a spiritual journey for all: the person facing the final days of life, the family members, friends and staff. We walk with our patients and their caregivers day by day on their final journey. While many of them have strong links with religious beliefs and practices through affiliation with faith communities, spirituality is defined much more broadly than religion. “Spirituality often encompasses one’s personal explanation of big questions: Where do I come from? Why am I here? Where do I go? Is there meaning to my illness and suffering?”
Hospice of Orange and Sullivan’s Spiritual Care staff provide patients with the opportunity to look at what is most important to them, to examine their inner feelings in a non-judgmental way. Patients who are members of various faith communities or who have no religious affiliation are supported without prejudice. While Hospice is non-denominational, if it is appropriate, Hospice Spiritual Caregivers help in bringing comfort by quiet presence, prayer meditation and culturally appropriate rituals.
Listening is one of the most powerful gifts any person can offer. We need to allow the patient and family to express their feelings of anger, concern and hopelessness. We try to help each person see the meaning and purpose in life. We share the words and wisdom of Dr. Ira Byock, an International Leader in Hospice & Palliative Care. In his most recent book The Four Things that Matter Most, he speaks of the four most important things to say.
- Please forgive me
- I forgive you
- Thank you
- I love you
These four sentences describe what dying patients have taught us about what matters most in life.