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Table of Contents and Introduction
William H. Griffith offers a book that can be used by anyonelayperson or clergywho wants to learn about what is important to those who are dying. Through powerful and moving stories drawn from his 20-plus years of experience in chaplain ministry, Griffith provides lessons for caregivers who walk with others through the "Valley of the Shadow of Death." Through Griffith's poignant stories, readers will gain insight on:
• the role of faith and God's will• grief and grieving families• faith-based denial• fear• the role of forgiveness• working with people of different faiths• dealing with a personal loss• emotional and spiritual pain• and other important subjects
The book concludes with questions and reflections for added guidance.
"Caregivers of every sort will find this short, practical, easy-to-read book a valuable resource for ministering to the dying and to those who love them." Stephen Ministries, St. Louis, MO (read the complete review on their website)
"Recommend this book to anyone who could share a dying person's last hours, including nurses, doctors, and pastors, as well as friends and family members." Church Libraries, Summer 2008
"Griffith presents 25 anecdotal case histories that cover much of the broad spectrum of spiritual and religious problems and crises that arise when caring for the dying. After each story is a section titled Lessons for Caregivers, which provide many valuable insights. At the end of the book are another three chapters that relate to the spiritual and religious problems of health care professionals and clergy who are involved with caring for the dying. It is written from a very Christian perspective (Griffith is an ordained Baptist Clergyman) but the lessons contained in this book will help any palliative care professional, clergy, or lay carer deal better and more comfortably with those difficult religious and spiritual problems that crop up when caring for the dying." Roger Woodruff, Director of Palliative Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
"Griffith gives voice to the uncertainty and mystery of death in a most heartfelt, elegant, and respectful fashion....Because of its simplicity and easy readability, it is an excellent personal resource for family members and non-medical people interested in the experience and process of dying. Griffith's first person story-telling style of writing instantly engages the reader in the interesting and personal stories of people and their families. The book is a particularly excellent resource for those who wish to explore the spiritual questions of death and dying from a Christian perspective. It is also appropriate for care giving professionals in that it brings to light the personal experience of dying that is so often pushed aside in clinical training on the subject." Deana F. Morrow, PhD, LPC, LCSW, ACSW, Winthrop University, Department of Social Work, Rock Hill, SC
"As a supervisor of a group of hospice pastoral counselors I have often wished someone were writing an account of the uniquely sensitive and meaningful encounters shared in our discussion. William Griffith has done just that." Gary Kriege, M.A., Diplomat in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors
"If you have ever visited a terminally ill person and felt an awkward silence, this text provides the remedy." Dr. Jeff Woods Associate General Secretary, American Baptist Churches U.S.A.
"As I read each story I was reminded why I chose Hospice as my life work 25 years ago. This book has reaffirmed my belief that our patients and families are our best teachers." Sandy Carmichael, Executive Director, Hospice of South Central Indiana
"My confidence in being a Stephen Minister is greatly strengthened for having read this book." Joan D. Schulze, Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, Arizona
"Griffith's perspective can assist chaplains, clergy, and lay ministers in developing a prepared presence from which to serve dying persons and their families." Ira Byock, M.D., Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, and Author of Dying Well and The Four Things that Matter Most
"More Than a Parting Prayer takes us to firsthand encounters with people who remind us that death is filled with life-giving opportunities. It is a refreshing reminder that the things that matter most in death are the things that matter most in life: one's spiritual values." Chuck Moore, President, Northern Seminary, Lombard, Illinois
"I am faced every day with giving care to people after they just receive the news of a terminal condition, families dealing with babies dying in all stages of the birth process, normal end of life issues, removal of life support, demise due to wanton violence in the streets, and other situations of facing our mortality and there are no words to adequately describe what a wonderful gift of grace the insights provided by this author have been. This book is not a 'cook book' for 'how to' deal with these situations but the wisdom and compassionate insights provided have been of immeasurable help to me, giving me insight into how peace and closure can be facilitated for the patients and loved ones." Bill Norton, Stephen Ministry, Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, Carefree, AZ
"Griffith has captured the engaging and diverse stories of dying patients. Each accurately reflects the poignant moments and transparent interpersonal communication that can characterize the patient and caregiver relationship in these ultimate conversations. His 28 brief chapters open a window to the deepest thoughts of the dying, as well as offer insight for appropriate self-care for those who provide pastoral care at the bedside of the dying." FORUM newsletter of the Association for Death Education and Counseling
William H. Griffith is a retired hospice chaplain having been on the staff at Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona, and Hospice of South Central Indiana. A 35 year veteran of pastoral ministry, he holds both Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity degrees. His studies have focused on grief recovery, pastoral counseling, and preaching. Dr. Griffith is also the author of the Judson Press book More Than a Parting Prayer: Lessons in Care-Giving for the Dying. He is available for conferences, seminars, or workshops to address the issues of grief and care-giving for the dying. Visit his website at www.wmgriffithbooks.com and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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