chapter  8
Spiritual Help for the Bereaved
ByGlen W. Davidson, Israel Zoberman, Fergus K. Reeves, Shirlee P. Davidson
Pages 18

Part of hospice philosophy is providing spiritual support. Little direction, however, has been provided for either defining or describing that kind of sup­ port. Spiritual support has sometimes been defined as respecting people’s reli­ gious points of view-a definition which has evolved from religious pluralism and denominational ecumenism. It has also been described as that service pro­ vided by chaplains or other religious authorities-rather an ethereal role when undefined. Spiritual support is presumed to be inherent in care given in institu­ tions operated by religious organizations. In many settings spiritual support is ignored because it is presumed to be “strictly personal,” “unscientific,” or “incapable of definition.” Elsewhere, I address spiritual support for terminally ill patients (1). In this essay, the issue of spiritual support for survivors is ad­ dressed, and in conjunction with it I have provided some ideas for ways in which hospice staff can assist mourners to recover a sense of wholeness.