We are often asked whether Pilgrims Hospice Society is affiliated with a particular religion. The answer is no – but we welcome people from all faiths and backgrounds, and those without any religious beliefs.
In his short article, The Spiritual Side of Bereavement, Dr. Kenneth J. Doka, (Senior Consultant to the Hospice Foundation of America) writes:
“We all have beliefs that give us some sense of security — that make sense of the world and offer a code for life, whatever the roots. Sometimes a loss deeply challenges those notions, leading to a crisis of belief.”
Research shows that spirituality is one of the most common and effective coping mechanisms for grief. Spiritual and religious beliefs are associated with increased meaning and purpose, well-being, hope, optimism, self-esteem and sense of control, along with decreased depression and anxiety.
According to Dr. Doka, in times of doubt and difficulty as we grieve, it is critical to return to, or not leave, our own sources of spiritual sustenance and renewal.
“Whether it is the counsel of similar-minded friends, the presence of our spiritual or faith community, or the resources, books, rituals and practices of our spiritual discipline, this is a time we need not to sever the connection but rather to strengthen our tie.”
If you have experienced the death of a loved one, or received the diagnosis of a terminal illness, you may feel lost and confused about the meaning of life, death, and the world around you…. Our newest 6-week support group, Finding Meaning in Death: Exploring Spirituality, may be of help.