Integral ecology

Spiritual life, a strong resource for bereavement

The experience of the professionals of the San Camilo Center highlights the importance of spiritual accompaniment during illness and bereavement in order to feel hopeful, comforted and to understand the meaning of these situations.

Maria José Atienza-February 24, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
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Photo credit: Ben White /Unsplash

The loss of a loved one and the variables surrounding it can lead to a pathologization of grief. This is something that this center tries to avoid, and in their experience, they emphasize, it is essential to analyze the risk profile and the evaluation of coping skills for the early detection of the most vulnerable people.

In their extensive experience in bereavement care, at Centro San Camilo, they have found that resilience is a capacity that appears much more frequently than some studies reflect in the final moments of the life of a loved one or in the mourning following the loss of a loved one.

In this sense, the people who attended their bereavement groups "despite being in a highly vulnerable moment, these people maintained the self-confidence, ingenuity, perseverance, flexibility and perspective to accept themselves and life. They were able to elaborate and find meaning in their loss and we found that the search for transcendence and meaning, mediated by a healthy spirituality, favors the elaboration of grief".

Comprehensive support

The Listening Center of this center accompanies people in bereavement, both individually and in groups. One of the points they frequently encounter is "loneliness and the return to oneself, with transcendence as a backdrop against which to contemplate the loss, in short, with the spiritual or religious".

The return to the experience of faith and the religious experience is not postitious in situations of bereavement, as St. Camillus emphasizes: "This is because the pain of grief is totalIt crosses all the dimensions of the human being and so should be its accompaniment". 

Pandemic and revaluation of life

For the professionals at this center, the pandemic has made society "aware of the value of end-of-life and bereavement support. In this line they emphasize that "the pandemic has put on the table that accompaniment, in particular spiritual accompaniment, helps to feel hopeful, comforted, to find meaning and to understand the meaning. 

Spiritual care is necessary in illness. In fact, the type of coping that mobilizes people, whether in end-of-life or profound experience of loss, is called "religious coping". It is an elaborated search for meaning that fosters growth, entrenches positive, meaningful and sustained changes in the grieving process, and helps to build a path of personal satisfaction and well-being." 

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