Some people are not religious. Some people find this side of their selves when they’re close to death.
Some people find out that they are dying which can help strengthen their beliefs. People may reconsider their spiritual and religious beliefs. They might reconsider what they believe, or even discover new beliefs.
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Spirituality and religion are two different things
Religion refers to a set of beliefs or actions that are performed in a particular way (rituals). It is practiced in a group or community. For example, Roman Catholicism.
Spirituality refers to a particular way of being. It is about feeling peaceful and fulfilled. It could also refer to beliefs about the meaning of life or connection to others.
Talking about your spiritual or religious needs
A spiritual or religious leader might be able to visit you in your final weeks of life. It is common for people to speak to their spiritual or religious adviser during these last weeks. If you are in hospital, or in hospice care, they will be available to visit you.
Others prefer to share their beliefs with:
- A close friend
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Everybody needs to be able to feel the empowerment and healing of love, whether it is from another person, oneself, or an ultimate source.
Everybody needs to experience moments of transcendence, times that allow us to expand beyond our immediate sensory spheres.
Everyone needs to have a sense of purpose and hope in the face of loss, tragedy, and failure.
Each person must have values, priorities, life commitments, which are usually centered on justice, integrity and love. These will guide us in our personal and socially responsible behavior.
Each human being needs to discover and develop their inner wisdom, creativity and love of their unique transpersonal/spiritual self.
Every person needs to have a deeper awareness of their oneness with others and the natural world.
Spiritual resources are essential for healing the pains of guilt, shame, resentment and unforgiveness. Spiritual resources are also needed to increase our trust, self-esteem and joy, as well as our love for life.
If you feel the need to express your spiritual or religious needs, it is crucial that you can do so in your last weeks of life.
If you have any religious or spiritual needs, tell the people who care for you. You might also have requests regarding how your body should be treated before and after your death.
If you are in a hospital, hospice or other care facility, the medical staff will note this in your notes. So everyone in your care knows your religious and spiritual needs.
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It is important that you feel like your needs are being met.