We are pleased to celebrate Spiritual Care Week for 2021 from October 24th through October 30th. Our spiritual care providers/chaplains are an integral part of the hospice team, working alongside our physicians, nurses, social workers, health aides, and volunteers to provide loving end-of life care which of attends to the body, mind, and spirit. Hospice spiritual care providers are specially trained to provide culturally sensitive care to people of many different religious and spiritual traditions. Each hospice family can choose whether or not they would like to include the spiritual care provider on their team. We are neither exclusively "religious" or exclusively "non-religious." Hospice spiritual care providers see themselves as providers of non-sectarian care for each person, in a way that honors and cherishes their own, individual and unique spirit.
Christina Pulchalski defines spirituality as that "aspect of humanity that refers to the way individual seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to be the significant or sacred." We affirm that each individual thrives in circles of meaning and purpose in their lives which help to grant them a unique perspective on the living of life in its fullest scope: from its person is often the brightest and strongest resilience one can draw upon for strength and courage for the journey at the end of life. That journey, which poses at its offset deep questions of meaning, fears of the unknown and of suffering, often transforms into a place of great depth of understanding, love, and profound peace, when shared. Your HOV spiritual care providers consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to walk the spiritual journey with our patients and families.
So, what do spiritual care providers/chaplains do with our patient and families to meet such lofty goals? We listen and laugh, we educate and guide, we play cribbage and watch television together, we encourage the telling of life stories, we read and watch and pray...we cry, and share, we sing and play music, and marvel at the richness of life. All the while affirming the wholeness of a person: body, mind, and spirit.
So in October, reach out to your spiritual care provider. Send a text or an email of appreciation. Share a kind word. Send along a prayer. Consider how your life may have been made better by knowing a chaplain.