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A Spiritual Perspective on Death and Dying

Often we think that death is something that happens suddenly, in a moment- and often, this can be true. However, for many elderly (including those in hospice care,) death is a slow transition. It can span over days, months, and even years. In fact, we are all dying from the moment we are born.

Often, those who are in this “transition” have experiences that we as caregivers might not understand, but it can be helpful to have a general sense of some things that might occur.

  • Our loved one(s) may speak with family members, spouses, or friends who have already passed. (This is extremely common!) Do not discredit their experience or try to point them back to “reality,” for this is their reality. Try to meet them where they are at.

  • They may want to talk about their lives, sharing stories you may have heard countless times already. Encourage this, as you are able, for it is part of the “letting go” of this lifetime.

  • Even those who have spiritual or religious beliefs offering insight into life after death may experience wondering, fear, or doubt about what happens after they transition. This is very human! Rather than give answers, try to hold space for their questions and simply “be with” them as they explore these things.

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