Bereavement

How long? : using lament to restore hope in the dying process

Author
Michael C. Hoppe
Abstract
It is not uncommon to find people at end-of-life who feel stuck; they are neither healthy nor progressing toward death rapidly. The literature identifies this state of “stuckness” as a condition called “persistent liminality.” This condition often involves a sense of being in a suspended state, lacking a sense of time and space, and feeling dislocated from God and the self. This researcher desires to provide understanding about existential loss due to persistent liminality at end-of-life and a strategy for assisting people to regain meaning and realize agency once again by connecting to God through lament. This study explores how pastoral counselors use lament to restore hope to people in a state of persistent liminality at end-of-life.
This study employed a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with seven pastoral counselors who have served as hospice chaplains for three years or longer. Three research questions guided this qualitative study: 1) How do pastoral counselors understand the purpose of lament? 2) In what ways do pastoral counselors use lament to minister to people in a state of persistent liminality at end-of-life? And 3) How do pastoral counselors evaluate the effectiveness of using lament to restore hope to people in a state of persistent liminality at end-of-life?
The literature review focused on three key areas central to this study: 1) understanding persistent liminality at end-of-life, 2) examining approaches currently used to address persistent liminality at end-of-life and their effectiveness, and 3) exploring how lament addresses persistent liminality at end-of-life.
The findings of this study reveal that lament can contribute to restoring hope to those suffering from persistent liminality at end-of-life. Finally, several recommendations are offered for how believers can reclaim the practice of lament in public and private worship.

Developing a Pastoral Care Manual to Raise Awareness of Multicultural Death and Dying Rituals at Gwinnett Medical Center, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Author
Ytu Thi Tran
Abstract
The purpose of this Doctor of Ministry project was to research the field of pastoral care related to multicultural death and dying rituals in order to identify best practices and develop a manual for the chaplaincy department at Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC), Lawrenceville, Georgia. Among the pastoral care services offered at GMC, an examination of many hospital manuals showed a lack of information and resources on death and dying rituals and faith practices, especially for those with focus on the four leading religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. A manual that centered on these four religious groups, along with providing information on religious death and dying rituals, would not only be helpful for new intern Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) chaplains and staff chaplains, but would also benefit the interdisciplinary medical staff in helping them treat patients and families with respect and dignity.

In order to complete this project, the project director examined research in the field of pastoral care on the beliefs and rituals of four leading religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. She also investigated significant time studying how to design and write a manual. The result was a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, manual about these four religions that focused on their history, beliefs, teachings, practices, and death and dying rituals. Furthermore, the project director personally interviewed a spiritual leader representing each of the four major religions presented in this document for their review and evaluation of the accuracy of its contents.

Pastoral care for the bereaved through the first memorial service

Author
Woan Suak Cho
Abstract
"The purpose of the study is to provide pastoral care to help the children recover from the loss and grief suffering after the death of their beloved parents. The author designed a particular form of the first memorial service to heal the wounded hearts of the bereaved. First, the author asked the bereaved families to prepare articles left by the deceased, which would allow them to remember their beloved parents, and then had the first memorial service in a chapel with the small group members to which the bereaved families belonged. The bereaved experienced the recovery of their wounded hearts by participating in the first memorial service, confirming that they were not completely separated from their parents, but still connected. The author conducted interviews and observations on two aspects - the daily life and the church life before and after the first memorial service - to track how the loss and grief of the bereaved families had been changed through the service. The author determined through the assessments that the first memorial service helped heal the wounded hearts of the bereaved and that they could play a positive role as members of the church community." -- Leaf [2].

Equipping selected adults of Bethel Baptist Church, Citronelle, Alabama, with bereavement ministry skills

Author
Marvin Otto Robinson D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected adults of Bethel Baptist Church, Citronelle, Alabama, with bereavement ministry skills. The project director completed the project by meeting three main goals: (1) researching the fields of bereavement care and grief ministry to identify essential skills for bereavement ministry; (2) developing a training curriculum in order to equip selected adults of Bethel Baptist Church, Citronelle, Alabama, with bereavement ministry skills; and (3) equipping selected adult members of Bethel Baptist Church, Citronelle, Alabama, with bereavement ministry skills. To measure achievement goals, the project director used several evaluation methods and tools, including expert evaluators, literary research, and ministerial reflection. The evaluation tools and methods validated the goals and achieved the purpose of the project.

Establishing A First-Time Bereavement Ministry to Families in the Rural Tri-County Area in Southeast Virginia

Author
Nancy B Moore
Abstract
The need for a first time grief and bereavement program was born from the vision of the local funeral director and the author. Grieving friends and clients living in the rural tri-county area of southeast Virginia were at a loss when it came to finding local grief support group or classes. As a result, this project in ministry began through the commitment of the funeral home to extend their services to include the care and nurture for the bereaved.

Helping churches care: expressing grief in Protestant Evangelical churches

Author
Cindy R Wallace
Abstract
The researcher used qualitative methods to analyze the grief experiences of Protestant Evangelical church members to explore what part their church played in providing grief support. Open-ended interviews were conducted with five people with diverse grief experiences from the Protestant Evangelical, specifically Baptist, faith tradition. The results of the study found that most people depended on family and close friends as their primary source of support. Some felt supported by their church, but most felt church members were uncomfortable with discussions about their grief. All agreed their faith in God continues to help them in their grief.

For the joy set before us: grief counseling in the light of the kingdom of heaven

Author
Benton W Taylor
Abstract
The focus of this dissertation project was to equip people in my church to understand how we are able to grieve in hope in light of the presence of God's Kingdom and the one to come. I did this by researching books and periodicals and a grief seminar which included a before and after survey. The results were that understanding biblical theology aids the grief process.

Ars moriendi in praxis: the effects of a comprehensive hospital bereavement care program on grieving patients and families

Author
Marci J Pounders
Abstract
This project seeks to develop a comprehensive bereavement care pilot program at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. The practicum was conducted from October 21, 2010, to October 21, 2011. Pre-test surveys showed the hospital does well in caring for grieving families at the time of death. However, a desire for more initiatives in the pre- and post-bereavement phase was indicated. This project has identified initiatives that ban be helpful to hospitals desiring to create bereavement programs for grieving families and staff.

A pastoral handbook for caring for people in grief and loss

Author
Richard Allen Camp
Abstract
This project dealt with the pastor's role in grief and comfort. It included the writing of a handbook to guide pastors in caring for people in times of loss. The author revised the handbook using significant feedback from pastors and funeral directors and supported it with biblical, theological, sociological, and psychological studies. The handbook provides practical advice from the pastor in crises, condensed guidance for funerals, and a primer on grief, including the years following a crisis. An annotated bibliography recommends further resources for the busy pastor. The field work clearly indicated a need for such a handbook.

Addressing death, dying, and bereavement In senior adult Christian education

Author
John W Smith
Abstract
An aging U.S. populace with increasing awareness and acceptance of hospice practices challenges Christian education to preemptively address end-of-life concerns as part of supporting continued life fulfillment for older persons. This report proposes a composite educational methodology using Vygotskyan and Jungian human development theory can provide education care that nurtures senior adult formational maturity in relation to death, dying and bereavement issues. The resulting approach is presented and evaluated through a pro-active research project conducted in a year-long case study of a senior adult Bible class and is found to achieve promising results.
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