To live is to suffer. That is, life without intermittent suffering is, in my estimation, life without the best of potentials to gain skills in introspection, questioning commonly held beliefs and engaging in deeper levels of spirituality (whatever that means for one). When we are able to embrace the suffering intertwined within the condition we call being human, we become freer of its pains and sorrows and more in touch with self and others emotionally and spiritually.
Most will likely agree that we currently live in a society that does not place much value in engaging in healthy suffering practices, which has greatly diminished the overall ability of our societal members’ to move along the continuum therein. End-of-life care professionals are in excellent positions to help others reach that individualized place where acceptance of death and dying processes live.
I believe that individuals at the end-of-life are in admirable points to find meaning in their suffering. Once meaning is found the likelihood of acceptance follows. Within acceptance is an unmistakable glow of peace and serenity. Peace and serenity is effective freedom from physical ailments and a receiving of eternal life within the one proper source of existence.
The fact that there are many diverse beliefs about end-of-life and afterlife should not be seen as a barrier to effectively working with individuals to help them realize meaning in suffering and dying with dignity. So long as a healthy respect and embracing of diverse beliefs, religions and life experiences accompanies our hands in the first any subsequent handshake, we engage folks with their personalized self-empowerment in the forefront of each interaction. This, I believe, is a required paradigm to create the type of trust and rapport necessary for some of the best “work” out there.