Creating Significant Life Rituals in Neuro-Palliative Care
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Ritual can be described as an act which helps make sense of life, “there is what many people recognize as a spiritual quality to life, which in suffering, confronts people with questions and possibilities that reach beyond the immediate dilemmas of physical insult.” (Cobb and Robshaw, 1998); in this vein, ritual serves as a vehicle to navigate the inherent moments of sorrow and suffering in our lives. Fred Bird describes ritual as something which allows for communication, representation, meaning making, validation and relationing. (Bird, 1995)
This presentation explores the ways in which creating accessible and significant contemporary rituals, within a hospital setting, may serve as a means to crystallize our deepest sensitivities for life, and living. It looks at some of the ways rituals can serve as a bridge to wholing and healing, within the patient, with family members and with health care professionals interacting with patient. Through examples from spiritual care counseling, within a multidisciplinary team setting, in neuro-palliative care, a path is set for some simple ways to ritually nurture quality of life issues, as part of a whole person care health protocol.
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