Creating a Sacred Space for a Dying Loved One

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Creating a sacred space can bring comfort and a sense of familiarity to a dying patient. The goal of creating a sacred space is to provide an environment that is conducive to privacy and intimacy for your loved one. Listed below are several ways to create a sacred space for a dying family member or friend.

  • Keep the conversation quiet and focused on the dying person
  • Follow the cues given by the dying person regarding not only physical needs, but spiritual and emotional needs as well
  • Bring in pictures of the person, family members, and beloved pets, familiar objects are also helpful
  • If possible, assign someone to act as a doorkeeper to provide a transition from normal hospital routine and into the sacred space that you’ve created
  • Allow the dying person to transition into death by assisting them to let go
    • Assist them with saying good-byes to family and friends
    • Assure them that life concerns and loved ones will be cared for
    • Let them speak of past or present difficulties while listening non-judgmentally, and allow them to let go of these concerns
    • If they are fearful, recall happy memories and experiences of love, and help them to find a more peaceful place
    • If the dying person seeks reconciliation, this is the time for loved ones to show that all is forgiven
  • Soothing sounds such as personally meaningful music and nature sounds can be helpful
  • Prepare yourself spiritually by washing your hands, praying or meditating, and leaving your concerns outside of the room
  • Remember that the most important gift that you can give to the dying is your calm presence
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