Issues of spirituality are paramount for many people as they face the end of their life or the life of someone they love. As humans, we are multi-dimensional, comprised of body, mind, intellect, and spirit. At different points in life, some aspects assume greater priority and meaning. As you face the transition of death, you may experience changes in your awareness of and attention to your spirituality.

Spirituality can be described as making meaning of one's relationship with self, others, the world, and, for many, with God. Spiritual issues may include questions about meaningfulness and purpose in one's life that may encompass relationships, work, and other activities. Some people feel the need to reconcile with themselves, with others, or with God - to set relationships right. Some people experience fear of the unknown, of being alone, of not having necessary resources, or of loss of independence and physical abilities.

Issues of spirituality surround the notion of a "good death." A good death is generally one that is in keeping with the beliefs, values, and wishes of yourself and your loved ones and one in which pain and distressing symptoms are controlled.

There are many resources to help tap into a sense of spirituality that help connect one's self and the world. These may include music, poetry, art, nature, rituals, or prayer. For many people, spirituality includes, or is shaped by, religious beliefs. If you identify with a particular religious tradition, the practices of your faith may be especially important when dealing with end of life issues.

Guidance or support from clergy, chaplains, spiritual counselors, or others specifically prepared to attend to spiritual care, who have an understanding of how to work with questions about God, suffering, faith, hope, and despair, may be extremely valuable. Goals of spiritual care generally include developing an understanding of beliefs and wishes for care at the end of life; developing a sense of having lived a meaningful or good life; and experiencing an end of life that includes joy and has minimal pain or suffering. Spiritual care also extends to support for family members and other loved ones during this time and during bereavement following the death.

For many people, religious organizations can be an important resource when dealing with end of life issues. The following is a list of resources in Massachusetts that may be helpful.

For other information and resources:

Clear Light Society
P.O. Box 304
Stockbridge, MA 01262
Phone: 413-298-4446
website: www.clearlightsociety.org

Massachusetts Catholic Conference
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184
Phone: 617-746-5630
website: www.macathconf.org

Archdiocese of Boston
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184
Phone: 617-254-0100
website: www.bostoncatholic.org

Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
Boston Mission Office
385 Concord Avenue
Belmont, MA 02478
Phone: 617-489-3733

Islamic Society of Boston

204 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-876-3546

Islamic Center of New England
470 South Street
Quincy, MA 02169
Phone: 617-479-8341

Muslim Chaplain
Brigham and Women's Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115
Contact: Imam Salih Yucel
Phone: 617-908-3554

Jewish Healing Connections
Jewish Family and Children's Services
1340 Centre Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459
Phone: 617-558-1278

Synagogue Council of Massachusetts
1320 Centre Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459
Phone: 617-244-6506
website: www.synagoguecouncil.org

Massachusetts Council of Churches
14 Beacon Street, Suite 416
Boston, Ma 02108-3760
Phone: 617-523-2771
website: www.masscouncilofchurches.org



About End With Care

End With Care Corp is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization helping to provide end-of-life information and access to resources found
throughout Massachusetts.

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