“Companioning” The Dying

three crosses

Photo credit: Pixabay

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so that we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

I remember many years ago while in my 20’s, reading “On Death And Dying” by Swiss Psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.  Her groundbreaking work described the five stages of grief, which was unheard of in our day.  She studied how terminally ill patients were being treated in hospitals during her medical residency in 1958 and published her book in 1969. 

Back in those days no one admitting to ever having counseling and those recovery groups for everything from alcoholism to gambling were not on the map yet.  Everyone seemed to know of Kübler-Ross; her book was a huge best-seller focusing on a topic that is hard for most people to deal with.

This is a subject I have come to understand in a different way than Kübler-Ross did as well as current thought about dying.  We know as Christians dying is a joyful time of meeting the Lord Jesus Christ at the time of physical death.  We are not afraid knowing the truth of our lives after death.  

While the world still has it’s thoughts about what happens after life ends here on earth, we Christians know the truth: it is a time of preparing to meet our Lord and Savior and is the beginning of life in the eternal hereafter with Him.

But I wish to share a few links to what I’ve been looking at today about counseling the dying, along with a few other books I have since I continue to be presented in my heart and mind with creating my own course.  It would be online training for those who want to care for the emotional-psycho-spiritual needs of people who are in the end-stages of life.   

This would mean being trained to know how to care compassionately for those who are dying, spending time at their bedsides at their homes or in hospices or other medical facility.   My hope would be to join with other’s who have a desire to be in a companionship-caring role that may verge on counseling the family members, as well as being a compassionate listener and bedside companion for those at their end-stages of life. 

Below are some of the secular resources I’ve been looking at to compare what I have been taught at a secular college for training in counseling psychology.  Comparing what I have learned about what is called, “pastoral counseling” and “Christian layperson counseling”, I will use these resources to cross-over into Christian counseling from being trained in secular counseling.

Dr talks about dying patients she's cared for

Photo credit: CBC News on YouTube

Canadian Public Broadcast video (41 minutes): A doctor shares how the body shuts down during the dying process and how she made visits at home where patients want to be before they die – Death and dying: What to expect in the final stages of life

A downloadable .pdf file to understand grief and loss – Introduction to the Companioning the Bereaved

Online bereavement course – Online Bereavement Counseling Course

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