...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Good Christian Death

Is as much about how we have lived than how we die. The main ingredient in dying well is having lived well.

Jeremy Taylor, in the 17th century, noted several components to the “good” death: hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, and a good Christian life. Our picture may include being at peace without discomfort, at home (natural setting) and surrounded by those we love.

An early version of the Anglican Prayer Book (1552) advises for the dying person to be in charity with the world, seeking forgiveness and offering it, thoughtfully disposing of wealth, making a will, and putting all affairs in order.

I hate the word closure because it always seems to be used without appreciation of the power of grief; grief is more like an open, rather than a closed book. Sense of completion and coalescing, rather than closure, is more important for those who are in the stages of grief and death.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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