Dying and Loss

Conference call held on April 21, 2013.

Clerk of consultation: Georgia Foster, Sheridan Community of Wyoming Friends Meeting


  1. How do we, in our meetings, support one another in facing our losses?

  2. Are there ways we can engage Spirit to help us relate to loss?

3. Those suffering from long-term illness, serious injury, dementia, as well as aging must deal with many losses along the way. The same is true of their family members/friends: Aspects of their relationship with the dying person change well before the actual death. There is anticipatory grieving, too. If needed, are there ways your meeting has provided them spiritual or emotional support in a respectful way?

4. How do we find spiritual strength as a community to recover from the loss of a beloved Friend? Besides holding a memorial meeting, are there other ways we can honor the memory of those we miss? Have you experienced in your meeting Spirit transforming sorrow?

Resources: Dying and Loss

Capossela, Cappy and Warnock, Sheila.  Share the Care:  How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who is Seriously Ill, Revised.  New York: Fireside, 2004.  This is a  well thought out manual for setting up support to meet practical needs.  It offers a system for sustaining support while avoiding burnout.  Seems particularly appropriate to support someone without family near.

McIver, Lucy.  Song of Death, Our Spiritual Birth, A Quaker Way of Dying.  Pendle Hill Pamphlet. Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill Publications.  Lucy McIver of Eugene, OR has provided consultation and workshops to Quakers around this topic for years.

Ostaseski, Frank.  Being a Compassionate Companion, CD set, 2003.  Director of Zen Hospice Center of San Francisco presents Buddhist principles to - 1. Being with a dying person, 2. Being a caregiver of someone dying, 3. Grieving after the death. Excellent training tool.

Quaker Aging Resources <http://www.quakeragingresources.org/>  New York Yearly Meeting and Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting collaborated to develop spirit-centered resources and information.