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Embracing the End of Life

We live in a culture that denies old age. Youthfulness is the criterion by which all in life is measured, and yet death is unavoidable and our journey to the next life inescapable.

Embracing the End of Life tackles the topic of dying with candor and thoughtfulness while paying special care to the spiritual well-being of all those who must deal with these issues.

With over 50 years combined experience of pastoral and lay ministry, nursing, hospice care and counseling between them, Michelle O’Rourke and Eugene Dufour provide an exceptional book that addresses the questions that surround end-of-life illnesses, aging, dying well and dignity at the end of life.

Whether working in hospice or palliative care, as a doctor or social worker, or as a priest, parishioner or family member helping a loved one face the end of life, examining your own beliefs regarding death and dying will better prepare you to help those in your care.

Full of inspirational true stories from their own professional experiences, this book will challenge your perspective on end of life care. Reflection questions will help you explore your own perceptions and understanding of topics such as befriending death, suffering, loss, spiritual care, grief, forgiveness and anger.

Exploring your “inner landscape” is a necessity for all and this book will help guide you through the steps, spiritual processes and questions of embracing and befriending your own mortality so that you can help those around you do the same.

Embracing the End of Life is an indispensable guide to walking with those who are journeying towards the end of life. It will enable you to help create a dignified, peaceful and spiritually complete environment for those in the last stage of their life and to empower them to embrace the end of life with love, forgiveness and respect.

"Someone should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying.
Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day."
—Pope Paul VI

Michelle OʼRourke, a Registered Nurse for more than thirty years, is the author of Befriending Death: Henri Nouwen and a Spirituality of Dying. Currently she works in the ER at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and coordinates the Foundations in Parish Nursing education program for the Institute of Catholic Formation at St. Peterʼs Seminary in London, Ontario.

Eugene Dufour is a clinically trained therapist and international speaker on the topics of compassion fatigue, critical incident stress debriefing, bereavement, hospice palliative care and pastoral care. The former Executive Director of the Bereavement Ontario Network, he currently works as a therapist with the Star Family Health Team in Stratford, Ontario.


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