Family members who are slowly passing away is a common heart ache in families. The slow process of the dying can lead to multiple emotions. Anger, regret, hope, despair all mix with fearful anticipation of death but also a merciful end to the pain. These conflicting emotions can put caregivers and other family members in difficult emotional states. Counselors and pastoral caregivers can help these individuals, as well as the dying through this difficult process.
It is important though to understand the nature of the death, the process of dying and the emotional toll it takes on all parties. Pastoral Thanatology is the type of counseling that many become certified in to help others learn to better accept and deal with the process of dying.
The article, “Understanding Grief for Still-Living Family Members” from Ohio State University looks at some aspects regarding death and the living. The article states,
“The symptoms of grief people feel for a loved one facing a life-limiting illness fluctuate over time, a new study found – suggesting that individuals can adjust to their emotional pain, but also revealing factors that can make pre-loss grief more severe. Researchers examined changes in the severity of pre-loss grief symptoms in people whose family members had either advanced cancer or dementia.”
To read the entire article and to learn more about the study, please click here
Please also review AIHCP’s Pastoral Thanatology program. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pastoral Thanatology