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Parting – A Handbook for Spiritual Care Near The End of Life
Author: Jennifer Sutton Holder, Jann Aldredge-Clanton
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
I was compelled to read this accessible, charming little book from cover to cover before putting it down. By way of vignettes, it offers deep insights into how to assist the ‘spiritual traveller’.
This touching book resonated with my experience of assisting dying people and their carers. In asserting that leadership arises from the dying person, it de-mystifies an activity that leaves so many carers feeling lost and uncertain. I would recommend it to all who are caring for the dying, as well as to anyone at the end of life.
A view from different cultural perspectives might enhance any new edition, and there are a few other minor quibbles. The book is described as a handbook, yet there is no systematic or exhaustive index, no references to the body of literature or evidence available to medical providers, no guidance on further reading and little on how to incorporate the spiritual into technical end of life medical practice.
Having said that, this is a priceless pocketbook for the inexperienced carer or those reluctantly cast in that role, particularly because of the empowerment it brings.
Reviewer: Paul Tarbuck
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