❦ WHAT DOES SPIRITUALITY MEAN? When everything is considered, it is the relationships we have with self, others, the natural world, the future, the past, and the ultimate reality, or God, that give rise to spirituality. Research has shown that people with terminal illnesses: • Consider their quality of life improved when their spiritual needs have been met • Value and frequently use spiritual beliefs and practices as a way to help cope with their situation • Often want to talk about spiritual issues Spirituality involves trying to find meaning and purpose in what is happening to us. It is fundamental to each person’s journey through life, a journey that yields a sense of who we are. A question you may ask yourself: Do I have a faith I can depend on? Spiritual suffering, often called total suffering, goes beyond physical pain and may include emotional and psy- chological suffering. It may involve intense grief and deep sadness. There may be a loss of dreams, future and living life without loved ones. The illustration below shows transformation, or movement, across the spectrum of spiritual well-being.

Spectrum of Spiritual Pain and Spiritual Well-being

Total Spiritual Pain

Spiritual Struggles

Total Spiritual Well-being

Emotional withdrawal Meaninglessness

Isolation or Abandonment Anger and Rage Guilt

Connectedness Meaning

Sadness Suffering

Hope and Trust Life after Death

❦ WHAT WILL I FIND IN THIS SECTION? In this Section you will find resources relating to spiritual care, which usually involves support in difficult situ- ations, such as loss, and matters of life and death. Resources include people to talk to, taken from the local Bow Valley Community Church list, and reading material including books and pamphlets. Related material can be found in Social Services and Support , page 23, and End-of-Life Care , page 35, of this guide. Electronic links can be found under this Section in The Book of Links, page 65, especially the link to the Canadian Virtual Hospice.


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