You’re an individual with a lifetime of experience and stories to share, there are people places and passions that make you, you, and that’s what we’re here to focus on.
The term ‘spiritual’ stems from ‘spiritus’, the Latin word for ‘breath’, and we want to know what breathes life into you, because if it’s important to you, it’s important to us.
As you come to terms with your new situation, you may find yourself asking questions like Why me? Why do bad things happen? Will I be remembered? and What happens after death? Although we can’t answer your questions, connecting with the things that mean the most to you can be significant in helping you to find ways to cope.
You might recognise a spiritual element to yourself despite not identifying with a particular religion. We’re here to focus on what’s important to you and to support you to face the future together with your loved ones, whether you identify as religious, or not.
Spirituality can however, be expressed through a religious practice. Our chaplain Elaine is an ordained minister in the Church of England, and we have a supportive relationship with our local Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Quaker and Sikh communities, who can be contacted on request.
You might find it difficult to put your feelings, thoughts, wishes and fears into words, let alone discuss them with close friends and family. For those times when you need to talk to someone outside of your immediate circle, we’re here to listen.
Specially trained volunteers of varied faiths, backgrounds and beliefs are on hand to help you through challenging times. Whether you’re questioning your new situation, feeling angry/shocked/ sad or want to discuss what happens next, we’ll provide you with compassionate and confidential support.
If you’re not a talker or find it hard to express your feelings, there are creative ways to explore what’s going on for you. There are many activities that you can do on your own which include using ‘the conversation game’ cards to help you think about what is important to you as your life comes to an end.
We recognise the challenges that your change in circumstances can bring to your loved ones and so extend our spiritual support to your friends and family. As with your own support from the spiritual care team, the services that we provide to your loved ones are not dependant on religious belief.
The terminal diagnosis of a family member or close friend is often difficult to accept. Although we cannot answer the challenging questions that inevitably come with this life changing situation, we are on hand to provide support as you process these changes. We are here to listen and /or support you to find a creative way to express your thoughts and feelings.
We invite you to celebrate the defining moments that have made you who you are; these could be important relationships, significant achievements or special milestones that you have reached. It may also feel important to mark particular times of loss or hardship that have shaped you.
Creating coloured salt jars, making a chain of beads or putting together a CD to reflect the ups and downs in your life can be a way to find meaning, peace and closure in what has been.
You can also celebrate the defining moments in your life by making something either with or for your loved ones. We can help you to create a ‘remember when’ box which lists events that you, your friends and your family members have enjoyed together, times when silly things have happened, and the places that you visited.
A hand print picture is a fun and creative way to celebrate all that you have done together. As you make the print, you can share happy memories of places that you’ve been and activities that you’ve done with your loved ones.
You may like some support writing down your life history so that your story can continue to be shared.
We can also provide help in planning the content of your funeral, which can be an important part of celebrating your life.
The Sanctuary offers a quite space within the hospice that you can use to take time for yourself. Meditate, pray or use the space to reflect, it is there whenever you need it. Holy books and other religious materials are available for you to use, and you are welcome to take these to The Woods centre or to your room to read at your leisure should you wish to.
Our sanctuary also offers a place for you to light candles, remember loved ones and to write down your thoughts, wishes or prayers.
Our frequent ‘Cherished Memories’ thanksgiving and remembrance services are led by members of the team. They offer an opportunity to take some time with your family and friends to remember the person who has died, to give thanks for their life, offer prayers and light a candle.