Life is a mysterious journey, inspired by the search for meaning and a peaceful mind and heart. When the journey includes a terminal illness, we grapple with our limitations and mortality. We move through a wide range of conflicting feelings, questions, and insights about this passage – all of which can create a crisis of the spirit and may lead us to wonder, “Why me? Why now?”
Everyone has a spiritual dimension, and each person’s sense of the sacred is unique. Some people express it through religion; others through nature, the arts, or in ways that enliven their sense of the universe and their place in it.
Our culture, values, and spiritual orientation affect how we live, respond to, and find meaning in life-threatening illness. Many feelings we have on this journey – such as fear, anger, powerlessness, and despair – are signs of spiritual distress. Yet, even when facing death, we can find solace in feeling appreciated, sharing our life stories, and expressing gratitude and hope.
Our spiritual counselors offer care to those from a broad range of cultural and religious traditions, as well as those with no religious or spiritual beliefs. Knowing we are one human family who are more alike than different, our spiritual counselors’ calming presence and gentle concern create an environment in which connection and peace can occur. Spiritual care encourages reflection on successes and failures, hopes and sorrows, and values, goals, and wishes. Read how a spiritual counselor helped a patient find peace in writing letters to his two young daughters.
Our spiritual counselors can:
- Help identify sources of spiritual nourishment
- Support all cultures and beliefs
- Explore the meaning and purpose of life
- Assist with healing relationships, facing fears, and overcoming regrets
- Offer music, meditation, visualization, blessings, or prayers to soothe the soul, when appropriate
- Arrange for religious sacraments, or personalized ritual, if desired
- Officiate at funerals and memorial services, as requested
Mission Hospice believes that spiritual well-being is essential to dying as peacefully as possible. Respecting all wishes and ways of viewing life, our spiritual counselors can sensitively accompany patients and families during this most sacred and mysterious part of life’s journey.