This week is National Palliative Care Week and the theme this year is Dying to Talk; Talking About Dying Won’t Kill You. This series of videos/blogs is to help you be more PRESENT when with your loved who is on their end journey.
Today we are looking at the R in PRESENT & it stands for Religion/Spirituality. And this one can get a little messy. With this one, I encourage you to know, respect & honour the religious/spiritual beliefs of your dying loved one, irrespective of yours. Yep, it’s not about you, this is about them.
I heard of one episode of an atheist man in a hospice. There were often staff who would say to him that they would pray for him and talk in ways that were just inappropriate in light of this man’s beliefs. I have no doubt that these people were well meaning, but their actions were disrespectful. I don’t believe it is ever appropriate to force our beliefs on to others, but it is especially not OK when someone is dying. This journey needs to be about creating a peaceful space as defined by them.
You also often here of people whose religious/spiritual beliefs change markedly after receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness. And this makes sense when one is confronted with their own mortality. What is required of us is to just love this person we have loved, to care for them & to support them in ways that are appropriate for them. That’s it.
Peace & blessings, Sharon