Where can I find some comfort and grace in going through this?
In all its dimensions, dying is a deeply emotional and spiritual experience. It brings to center stage those things we value and hold most dear. It can tap into our worst fears and greatest regrets, at the same time underscoring how precious the moment is. It’s a time for deepening faith, for forgiveness, for offering and receiving love, gratitude and encouragement from those who have meant the most to us.
“One of the most difficult struggles to face approaching death is the struggle of ‘letting go’ of life,” says McCoy Franklin, past chairperson of APPEL and a retired minister. “Most of us have been taught never to give up. We confuse letting go with giving up. There’s a big difference. Giving up is something we are forced to do by circumstances beyond our control, while letting go is something we choose to do because we trust in a power that is greater than ourselves.
“Giving up concedes defeat while letting go reaches for a future that is better than the present. The journey of letting go is a journey of hope. It points us toward the hope that the One who gave us life as a gift still has more gifts in store for us–more than we can now imagine.”
The resources below can help bring light to the journey–support for those who face limited days of life and for those who are caregiving or in the company of a dying person.
What does spiritual care look like in the hospice program?
Spiritual care is provided in the nation’s 3,000-plus hospice programs in a variety of ways, whether by chaplains trained in clinical pastoral education or by community clergy. Physicians, nurses, social workers, certified “music therapists,” aides, and trained volunteers can also play a part in making a difference and bringing grace to the moment.
This care may address the need for forgiveness and reconciliation, the completion of unfinished business, the need for rituals and prayer and release, and the fear of abandonment and isolation–all related to closure at the end of life.
For information about spiritual and emotional care in Avery County and the adjoining region, call Avery Care Team, hospice of Mitchell County @ (828) 387-5787 or (828) 765-5677, Medi Home Hospice @ (828) 733-0663 or the Avery County Department of Aging @ (828) 733-8220. Another pathway to what’s available may be accessed through your church or place of worship.
Where can I go to talk about my grief over losing someone close?
Experiencing grief over the loss of someone you’ve known and loved, or dealing with grief even before the death occurs, can be a lonely place–and every grief journey can use support along the way. Local church pastors, Avery Care Team, Mitchell County Hospice, Medi Home Hospice and other organizations in Avery County offer supportive environments where you can:
- Safely discuss grief issues or difficult feelings, privately or in a group
- Learn more about the grief process
- Find healthy expression for your unique grief experience.
For information, call Avery Care Team, Mitchell County Hospice – Brent Price @ (828) 387-5787 or (828) 765-5667, or High Country Hospice @ (828) 265-3926 (ask for bereavement coordinator), or Medi Home Hospice @ 828 733 0663.
To join “Good Grief” support groups in Buncombe County, call CarePartners Bereavement Center @ (828) 251-0126.
Is there a workshop available in Avery County on death and dying?
Yes. Led by long-time hospice support leader John Wilson. For information and arrangements, call APPEL @ (828) 733-1413.
Would it lighten burdens if I pre-planned a funeral?
Many people find that preplanning a funeral, whether it’s for themselves or for someone else, offers an emotional release and a degree of financial security about that very specific end of life issue. By planning in advance you can accurately reflect what you or a loved one wants to happen at the service.
If you are considering prearranging a funeral, a funeral director in Avery County or the region can walk you through the process, sometimes in team with a church pastor. Many considerations, whether the body will be cremated or buried (for example), deciding on a burial place, and detailing the funeral itself can all be planned out in advance. There are several ways to prepay, each offering financial benefits. Prepaying is not required, but an option that many people find helpful.
For further information and a listing of funeral homes in Avery County, go to: www.caring.com/local/funeral-homes-in-avery-county-north-carolina