INSIGHTS ON DEATH & DYING: Reluctant companion

June 2005 
Volume 35  Number 6
Pages 66 - 66
  PDF Version Available!


  • Figure. No caption a...

    How can I help family members who are uncomfortable remaining at a patient's deathbed? I want to be sensitive to their needs, but I don't want them to later regret missing the experience .—J.J., IND.

    Figure. No caption available. That's a sensitive and insightful question. I hope the following anecdote helps

    I once cared for a beautiful woman who'd been diagnosed with breast cancer with extensive lung metastasis. Penny generously shared her story with me, responding calmly to my gentle questions about God and cancer, disfigurement and dreams. But when I asked how her husband of 40 years was dealing with the prospect of losing her, she became fretful.

    “Oh, he just can't handle this,” she gasped hoarsely. “He says I'm not praying hard enough to be healed.”

    “Did you explain to him that healing comes in many forms?” I asked.

    “Oh ...

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