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.
Published in conjunction with the Foundation for End-of-Life Care and the P.L. Dodge Foundation, this small guide by chaplains Holder and Aldredge-Clanton is directed to those friends and family members who serve as companions to someone facing the end of life. The manual is multifaith, offering wisdom from many different religious traditions about how to help the dying make a peaceful transition from this life."It is possible, more often than people think, for death to be a spiritual blessing to those who are leaving as well as to those who are left behind," the authors note. They address concerns both practical (ethical wills, physical comfort) and spiritual (centering prayer, final rituals, initiating a spiritual conversation). Throughout, they encourage caregivers to cultivate characteristics that will be most comforting for the dying person, such as perspective, humility, reverence, gratitude and a sense of release.